From not wanting to get in the water as a young child, to winning five national age titles at the 2019 Hancock Prospecting Australian Age Swimming Championships, Thomas Neill’s swimming journey has only gone from strength to strength.
His positive trajectory in the pool will see him compete at this year's World Junior Swimming Championships in Hungary, which kicks off on Tuesday 20 August.
Speaking to athlete mentor Brittany Elmslie at the National Youth Camp, the freestyle specialist from Rackley said he's come a long way from those days when he feared getting in the water.
“I didn’t want to get in the pool, I was hugging my mum’s leg just trying to get out," he said.
"After I saw my brother and sister go through that competitive stage, I just fell in love with it and couldn’t wait to start racing.”
Neill is bound for Budapest in what will be his first major international meet as part of the Australian junior team, after amassing five gold and two silver medals across multiple disciplines at the team’s selection event in Adelaide.
“There’s bigger fish to catch, so hopefully we can transition that success into something special, junior worlds are a bigger competition, there are quicker swimmers, so you can see how you go against the world.”
Get to know Thomas
Coach: Damien Jones
Pet Events: Freestyle, Individual Medley
2019 Hancock Prospecting Australian Age Swimming Championship Medals
- Boys 16 Years 200m Freestyle
- Boys 16 Years 400m Freestyle
- Boys 16 Years 800m Freestyle
- Boys 16 Years 1500m Freestyle
- Boys 16 Years 200m IM
- Boys 16 Years 400m IM
- Boys 16 Years 100m Freestyle
Follow Neill’s journey as he and the next wave of swimmers compete at the 2019 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships, August 20-25 in Budapest. Updates to follow on Swimming Australia’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. #TheNextWave