United Kingdom

The reason Aussie swimmer broke down in tears after realising his Olympic dream

A swimmer has broken down in tears after being told he had made the Australian team for the Tokyo Olympics, dedicating the win to his grandmother who just passed away.

Matt Wilson was earlier this week shattered after he narrowly missed the qualifying mark for the squad in the 200m breaststroke by a quarter of a second - recording a time of 2:08.52 but needing a 2:08.28.

He missed selection for the Rio Olympics by a similarly miniscule margin, but was told by Swimming Australia they had used their discretionary powers to add him to this year's 35-person squad.

Matt Wilson (pictured) wiped away tears after being told he had made the 35-person squad for Tokyo

Wilson (pictured) was shattered earlier this week after he narrowly missed qualifying by just a quarter of a second

'I was getting ready to plan my break. It's funny, sport. It's been such a roller-coaster 24 hours. I'm just stoked to be here and hopefully I can repay the faith for Tokyo,' Mr Wilson said. 

When asked about his grandmother at a poolside interview, the 22-year-old fought to hold back tears.

'The last couple of weeks have been really tough and I'm glad I could make the team for her. I'm sure she'd be proud of me.'

Swimming Australia's head coach Rohan Taylor said officials only learned of the 'extenuating circumstances' after Wilson's race.

'We had a discussion as a selection panel last night. We determined based on the fact we have a former world record holder, who won a worlds silver medal not that long ago, we wanted to give him the opportunity to add value to the team,' he said.

The 22-year-old (pictured) dedicated his Olympic selection to his grandmother

Wilson briefly held the world record for the 200m breaststroke and currently holds the Commonwealth record for the same event.

He also won a silver medal in the event at the 2019 Swimming World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, along with a gold medal for the 4x100m mixed relay.

Also at the selection trials held in Adelaide this week, popstar Cody Simspon missed selection for his 100m butterfly event but has vowed to keep training for the 2022 Commonwealth and 2024 Olympic Games. 

Matt Wilson is comforted by another competitor after narrowly missing Olympic selection on Tuesday at  the SA Aquatic and Leisure Centre in Adelaide

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