Background image
Elijah Winnington

Elijah Winnington

Age

24

Place of Birth

Benowa, QLD

Hometown

Benowa, QLD

Senior Club

St Peters Western

Coach

Dean Boxall

Olympic History

Tokyo 2020

Paris 2024

High School

King's Christian College

Career Events

Swimming Men's 200m Freestyle

Swimming Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay

Swimming Men's 400m Freestyle

 

Elijah's Story

Elijah broke through for the first individual international gold of his swimming career when he won the 400m freestyle at the 2022 Budapest World Championships in a time of three minutes 41.22 seconds, which ranked him fifth-fastest in history.

That time ranks him only 1.14sec behind Ian Thorpe’s best, which should stand as the world record for the event save for the synthetic swimsuit assisted 3.40.07 set by Paul Biedermann of Germany at the hotly-disputed 2009 world titles in Rome.

The time did not come out of nowhere. Elijah had set the fastest time in the world in the 400m freestyle in the lead-up to the 2020 Tokyo Games but, in his first Olympics he failed to reach the podium – finishing seventh in the final.

Still, once he had made his breakthrough, it made all the difference as he went on to win the 400m freestyle at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games (3.43.06), beating fellow Australians Sam Short (3.45.07) and 2016 Rio gold medallist Mack Horton (3.46.49).

There were a further two relay golds for Elijah in Birmingham as he helped Australia defend the 4x200m freestyle relay gold he had contributed to on the Gold Coast four years earlier, while he also was a member of Australia’s triumphant 4x100m freestyle relay side. He also came away from the meet with a bronze (1.45.62) after just being touched out in the final of the 200m freestyle by Scotland’s Duncan Scott (1.45.02) and England’s Tom Dean (1.45.41).

Throughout his junior years, Elijah trained at Bond University swimming club under coach Richard Scarce. The Gold Coast native earned 26 National Age Championship gold medals by age 18, and quickly progressed to star at the international level.

Elijah was named captain of the 2016 Junior Australian Team, winning gold and silver in his first Junior International. He went on to compete at the 2017 World Junior Championships, where he earned bronze in the 200m freestyle, 4x100m freestyle and 4x100m medley relay.

2018 was a defining year for Elijah, after registering two Junior world records, the then 17-year-old was selected for his first senior Dolphins team at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

As a member of the 4x200m freestyle relay team, Elijah won gold and recorded a new Commonwealth Record in front of an adoring home crowd.

At the 2018 Pan Pacific Championships in Tokyo, Elijah placed 10th in the men’s 400m freestyle and 12th in the 200m freestyle.

The following year he secured his first Australian National Championship in the 400m freestyle with a personal best time of 3:44.68. He retained this title at the 2021 Australian National Championships, winning the event in 3:45.69.

Training under Dean Boxall at St Peters Western in Brisbane, Elijah dominated the men’s 400m freestyle in a time of 3:42.65 at the 2021 Australian Olympic trials. He followed this up with a second-place finish in the 200m freestyle, clocking 1:45.55.

At Australia’s world championship trials in 2023, Elijah and young gun Sam Short staged a thrilling duel in the 400m freestyle, reviving memories of Ian Thorpe and Grant Hackett providing Australia with the world’s most lethal freestyle combination over the distance. The pair went stroke for stroke, before Sam just edged Elijah.

However, at the world championships in Fukuoka, Japan, Elijah missed out on a place on the podium, with Sam winning the gold. Elijah’s only medal in Fukuoka was in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

Elijah returned to form at the 2024 world championships in Doha, winning silver in the 400m and 800m freestyle.

At the Australian Open Championships in April 2024, Elijah won the 400m freestyle title, touching the wall in 3:41.41. He edged out Sam by just 0.23. The result underlined Australia’s depth in the 400m.

The pair again went stroke-for-stroke in the 400m and 800m at the Australian Olympic trials in Brisbane in June, with Elijah narrowly edging Sam in both finals.

Read More