Teen Edmonton swimmer honoured for achievements on world stage
Emma O'Croinin has her sights set on Olympic trials in April
Emma O'Croinin remembers being in Barcelona, Spain watching the FINA World Championships when she was ten.
Six years later, she was back at the same competition, in Gwangju, South Korea, as one of the athletes.
"Never did I think I would be on a team with a couple people who I watched race (in Barcelona)," said O'Croinin, who has trained with the Keyano Swim Club in Edmonton since she was eight.
"Watching swimmers like Katie Ledecky set their first world record, and then being in a ready room with them last summer … it was super crazy and awesome."
O'Croinin, a distance specialist, was a member of the Canadian team that won bronze in the 4x200m freestyle event. She also competed individually in the 400m and 1500m freestyle events, finishing 12th and 17th.
Following her success at senior worlds, O'Croinin also raced at the FINA World Junior Championships in Budapest, Hungary capturing three medals.
O'Croinin, 16, is being honoured by Swimming Canada, who has named her female junior swimmer of the year.
"So many good junior girls are coming up through swimming in Canada so it's definitely an honour," she told CBC Radio's Edmonton AM.
The senior national team member is now working toward Olympic trials in April, and said making the team would be "a dream come true."
"I have to make sure I'm in the best possible shape so hopefully when I'm there it'll all work out."
Swimmers will be selected based on placing top two and achieving the qualifying time standards. O'Croinin has swum the qualifying requirement in the 1500m, but has to repeat that time at the trials.
"I just have to keep working hard and maybe that could happen," O'Croinin said. She practices nine times a week, doubling up on a couple of training days.
"There's really good depth in Canadian swimming right now so it'll be tough competition ... it makes everyone go faster."