Aussie swimmer Matt Wilson had his dream fulfilled after Swimming Australia showed compassion for the grieving athlete and announced he would travel to the Tokyo Games despite missing out on qualifying time.
Aussie fans were left heartbroken on Tuesday night when breaststroker Wilson missed out on qualifying for the Olympics by 0.24 seconds.
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But it was absolute heartbreak for Wilson despite finishing second in the 200m.
The 22-year-old's time of 2:08.57 was just 0.24 seconds outside the qualifying time specified by Swimming Australia.
Wilson was in tears after the race as he seemingly missed out on his dream to travel to Tokyo.
But in a further twist, the Australian swimming authorities found out Wilson was grieving from the death of his grandmother only days earlier.
After learning of his grief, the officials decided to include Wilson in the travelling contingent of swimmers.
Wilson was elated after hearing of the news.
“I’m still trying to wrap my head around it quite honestly,” Wilson told Amazon Prime.
“Just 24 hours ago I didn’t think I was going to be on this Olympic team.
“I was getting ready to plan my break. It’s funny, sport. It’s been such a roller-coaster 24 hours. I’m just stoked to be here and hopefully I can repay the faith for Tokyo.”
And the 22-year-old broke down in tears after announcing he dedicated the achievement to his late grandmother.
“The last couple of weeks have been really tough and I’m glad I could make the team for her (grandmother). I’m sure she’d be proud of me," he said.
Wilson's trial heartbreak
Earlier in the week, Wilson was left devastated after his swim.
Wilson was previously the world record holder for the distance.
Despite winning the same 200m event at the Olympic trials in 2016, he was was 0.26s shy of the qualifying mark and missed the Rio team.
This added to the initial devastation of missing out for the Tokyo Games.
“Oh no, can you believe it?” commentator Jon Harker said on Amazon Prime.
“What a performance from Stubblety-Cook but heartbreak again for Matt Wilson. There’ll be tears aplenty."
Grant Hackett added: “It’s brutal, you have the extreme highs and the extreme lows.”
Stubblety-Cook felt for his rival, saying: "It's pretty gut-wrenching seeing that.
"It's just the nature of the sport. It's tough, there's no other word for it."
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