13/04/2024

Former 200m breaststroke world record holder Matt Wilson is in line to compete at his first Olympic Games in Tokyo. Image: Swimming Australia

Despite the unique experience in store at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the expectations for Australia’s swimming team won’t change.

The unique Olympic experience that’s in store for athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Games won’t hamper any expectations for performance, according to swimmer Matt Wilson. 

Wilson, a former world record holder for the men’s 200m breaststroke, is in line to compete at his first Olympic Games in Tokyo, having won Bronze in the same event at the 2018 Commonwealth games.

“We’re all pretty excited to finally get our chance of qualifying for an Olympic games,” he told The Inner Sanctum.

“For some people it’s a second or third time, for a lot of people it’s their first, there’s just a lot of excitement buzzing around that we’re finally at this stage.”

Wilson said that while the atmosphere and environment at the games will certainly be different, his expectations of the competition haven’t changed.  

“It’s going to be a very different games,” he said. 

“There’s going to be a lot of rules, a lot of protocols in place, not as much mingling.

“It’s still going to be a great atmosphere there, cause we’re at the pinnacle of our sports, that’s what the Olympics is, so there won’t be any drop in expectations there.”

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Perhaps most fittingly representing the uniqueness of the Tokyo Games is the branding – while taking place in 2021, the event will still be referred to as ‘Tokyo 2020’.

It’s not the only significant result of the year gap though, Wilson confident that the extra year of preparation will serve the Aussies well.

“We’ve been pretty lucky here in Australia that COVID hasn’t completely shut us down at different, sporadic points in the year,” he said.

“Our expectations haven’t really lowered at all, if anything they’re a little bit higher.

“We’re still expecting to go out there and swim fast… we’ve had an extra year to get better, an extra year to fix those one percenters.”

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