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Emma Harvey achieves BOA qualifying standard

On the verge of Olympic qualification: Emma Harvey achieved the Bermuda Olympic Association’s qualifying standard when she won the B final at the Mare Nostrum Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday (Photograph supplied)

Days after her brother Jack achieved the Bermuda Olympic Association’s qualifying standard, swimmer Emma Harvey is on the verge of being confirmed as the island’s latest Olympian after hitting the time in the 100 metres backstroke on Thursday.

Harvey won the B final at the Mare Nostrum Barcelona. The 22-year-old stopped the clock at 1min 1.21sec, which was within the BOA’s consideration time of 1.01.79.

It means she will be heading to Paris on a universality spot if no Bermudian female swimmer surpasses that before June 23.

“It’s surreal, obviously nothing is confirmed yet, but just being able to get the time takes the pressure off,’’ Harvey said.

“It’s something I've been chasing for over a year now. To finally do it is just a huge relief, I’m just so happy.

“I was definitely feeling the pressure, especially the last few weeks. It’s really exciting that Jack, my younger brother, also hit the consideration time a few days ago in the same event, the 100m backstroke, so that’s really exciting.

“Hopefully, there’s a chance for both of us to be on the plane to Paris together.

“It was great to get the time by a good chunk. I won the B-final but my time, if I had done it on the A final, would have placed me fifth, I believe.

“In the morning I didn't have the best swim so I didn't make it to the A final. I ended up swimming in the B final, but I dropped a lot of time, my time in the B final would have counted a lot if I had managed to have a better morning swim.”

Harvey, who has just graduated from Pennsylvania State University, said that a year ago Olympic qualification had never crossed her mind.

“I thought that maybe there was a 15 per cent chance we'd both make it,’’ Harvey said.

“To be here and in a position where it might actually happen, it’s just so exciting.

“I think I was over a second off the qualifying time and Jack was a second and a half off.

“To be able to drop that much time in less than a year was just unbelievable.

“My brother is one of my training partners, he works so hard and there is no one more deserving than him.

“Obviously I was happy for myself on Thursday, but watching him achieve the time on Monday was just as exciting.

“My brother was meant to come to Barcelona with me, but once he got his time, he went back to Bermuda for more training. He wants to put on the best performance he has if selected for the Olympics.”

From Spain, Harvey headed to Monaco, where she is taking part in the third leg of the Mare Nostrum Swim Tour, today and tomorrow. With the Olympic consideration time achieved, the swimmer is now focusing on increasing her speed.

“If I can go a little bit faster, that would be really amazing,’’ she added.

“There’s some events that I’ve been training for that I put on the back, as I've been trying to achieve the qualifying time.

“I’m looking to use this opportunity to see where I am. It’s exciting to keep racing and learning from the best in the world.

“In the 100m butterfly, I’m pretty close to the Olympic consideration time for Bermuda. It would be amazing to achieve it in that event as well, but I’m not sure what to expect.

“I’m flying back to the US on Monday for a couple of weeks of training then I’ll come back to Bermuda. It’s definitely going to be an exciting next few weeks.

“I plan to do one more qualifying event before the qualifying window is up. Hopefully, I can get a little bit better.”

Harvey spoke of the tremendous backing she has received from those around her as she pushed for her maiden Olympic qualification.

“The support has been absolutely amazing,’’ she said. “There have been so many ups and downs. I wouldn’t have made it without all the support from friends, family and coaches.

“When things are going well, it’s so easy to stay confident, stay positive, but when things aren't going well, it’s important to rely on the people that are closest to you.

“I’m just thankful I’ve so many amazing people in my life at home in Bermuda. It’s just an amazing community supporting me and Jack as well.

“About two months ago I wasn't feeling well, which was really tough at the time. I was out for a few weeks.

“This set me back a lot from my training. I had to rearrange my competition schedule just because I couldn't swim for so long.

“During this time, I relied on my friends and family a lot to help me come up with a plan so that I could still chase this Olympic dream.”

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Published June 01, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated June 01, 2024 at 7:23 am)

Emma Harvey achieves BOA qualifying standard

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