Margaret River’s Olympic hopeful Ethan Buckland boasts Australian National Open a workout

Warren HatelyAugusta Margaret River Times
Ethan Buckland (right) with Westside Christchurch team colleague Hayden Fergusson.
Camera IconEthan Buckland (right) with Westside Christchurch team colleague Hayden Fergusson. Credit: Supplied

A Margaret River man has overcome another fresh challenge in his crusade to represent the country in the pool one day.

Ethan Buckland battled through illness to compete at the recent Australian Open Championships in Brisbane as another step in preparation to win a place in the national Olympics squad.

While personally underwhelmed by the outcome, Buckland said the experience only focused his attention on next month’s Olympic trials.

The experience prompted father and Margaret River Senior High School veteran teacher Chris Buckland to say “the harder training starts now”.

Ethan Buckland already faced a gruelling schedule as a competitive swimmer balancing study with his Olympic aspirations.

He told the Times the latest competition sharpened his sense of what was required.

“The nationals marked a first step to a new goal, and a learning lesson towards Olympic trials,” he said.

“Nationals was an opportunity to go and race the plan that my coach and I laid out at training.

“Ultimately, the results did not end where we wanted, but we are straight back into the pool to try and tweak and create a new plan going into the trials.”

Buckland competed in breaststroke events as one of the country’s top 10 unseeded swimmers.

He cleared the Olympic qualifying time trial and outperformed some of his rivals to secure a 47th-place national ranking and a place as the fourth-fastest under-21 man in Australia in the 100m.

“Nationals again was an unbelievable experience, showered in a lot of learning lessons, and I am so incredibly excited to continue to learn and grow into and after the trials as well,” Buckland said.

He said he was now effectively doubling his training load to win a place in the top category at the trials in mid-June.

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