Wilson ends Britain's wait for World University Games gold

Wilson ends Britain's wait for World University Games gold
By Sportsbeat

13/07/2019 at 14:15

Guildford City swimming star Alicia Wilson struck gold at the World University Games to win Britain's first title since 2015.

The former Charterhouse School pupil, 19, touched the wall in 2:11.35 to top the 200m individual medley podium ahead of America's Ella Eastin, a long-standing rival, in the four-stroke event.

Wilson gave particularly attention to perfecting her final freestyle length in a victory that gives her a timely boost ahead of next year's Olympic trials.

"From the semi-finals and the heats, it was definitely freestyle I was working on, coming back a bit stronger," said the youngster.

"We took it out pretty quick and I did that in the heats and semis as well, but I wanted to work the back end and I think I did that pretty well.

"It's a big year next year. Hopefully I will go back to America, get some good sessions in ready for the trials in April next year."

Wilson entered Sunday's final as the fastest qualifier after winning her semi inside 2:11.60, while she also had the quickest qualifying heat with a time of 2:12.69.

She is a sophomore at University of California, Berkeley and has shared many a battle with Eastin, who studies at rival Stanford University.

Wilson was second to Eastin after the first 100 metres but the Surrey ace clawed it back with her breaststroke length, holding on the through final freestyle to claim glory.

The medal added to Wilson's career haul that includes three medals at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, European junior bronze and the national 200m individual medley title.

The Universiade is widely recognised as the second largest multi-sport Games in the world after the Olympics, with over 10,000 participants from more than 150 countries.

Wilson relished being a part of the GB Students team that has claimed four medals at the competition so far.

"It's definitely weird, there's a lot more freedom than I'm used to at the junior events," she said. I'm really enjoying it, it's nice being on the ship and it's a good experience.

"I have enjoyed the multi-sport side of it. There's less pressure, you meet other people from new sports and everyone doesn't start at the same time, so there's more of a relaxed feeling around it."

British Universities & Colleges Sport is the national governing body for Higher Education sport in the UK, organising leagues and competitions for more than 150 institutions across 52 different sports. For more information visit bucs.org.uk

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