Erika Fairweather’s hopes of reaching her second Tokyo Olympic final were dashed today when she was eliminated from the 200m freestyle in the semi-finals.
Fairweather, 17, swam below her best in the first of the semis and finished eighth in 1min 59.14s, nearly two seconds slower than her qualifying time.
Fairweather’s semi was won by Australian Ariarne Titmus in 1min 54.82s. The Australian, who has already won the 400m freestyle, may have taken over from American Kathleen Ledecky as the new queen of freestyle swimming.
After her semi, Fairweather was philosophical. “I feel pretty tired now,” she said. “It’s been a massive couple of days and I’ve swum two more races than I expected.”
She was at a loss to explain her slower than expected time. “I sort of got stuck out there, but that’s racing – it’s what happens. I’m still proud of myself for how I’ve done here.”
The Dunedin student said she had been buoyed by all the support from her schoolmates back home. “I can feel the love from here. It’s been fantastic.”