Robinson to use World Championship frustration as a Paralympics motivation
Not once, not twice, but three times did Northampton's Ellie Robinson go agonisingly close to beating China’s Yuyan Jiang at the World Para Swimming Championships in London.
But she knows the growing rivalry will turn out to be the ultimate motivation tool for the Paralympics in Tokyo next year.
The Northampton Swimming Club member finished just behind Jiang in the 50m butterfly final in Stratford on Saturday with a time of 35.61 to claim silver – her first medal of the competition, with the Chinese racer edging her to the wall in 34.86.
More frustratingly for Robinson, Jiang set a new world record in the process – a record previously set by the Northampton High School pupil last summer.
But amidst her disappointment, the 18-year-old refuses to let her head drop and insists the process of a World Championships is exactly what she needs in the run up to the 2020 Games.
“I’m really disappointed with the race,” said Robinson. “Not because I came second but because my time wasn’t as close to my personal best as I wanted it to be.
“I knew it was going to be difficult against Jiang who has been doing really well all week but for me, it’s not really about medals. I want to be enjoying major Championships no matter what and the experience of racing against the very best.”
“It’s about nailing the start, nailing the finish and doing everything I can to put me in the best position before Tokyo.”
It has turned out to be a difficult week for Robinson, the 18-year-old leaving the London Aquatics Centre with just one medal from three events.
But she knows she is on the right track and believes the high level of competition in her classification is the fuel that will keep her engine for Tokyo running.
“It’s actually nice to know I have that threat. I’ve got to use all of this as motivation for Tokyo,” said Robinson.
“She’s not too far in front of me and hopefully I can really use this to push myself that little bit further in training to win races again.
“I’m going to put myself in the best place, make myself the best swimmer I can be so when both of us are standing on the block next time, no-one will know who is going to win.”