Event: 400m freestyle
Olympic History: Rio 2016 (silver), Tokyo 2020 (bronze)
Year Born: 1998
State Born: Cape Town, South Africa
Born in Cape Town, Tamsin migrated to Australia with her family when she was eight. Initially she tried her hand at surf lifesaving, hockey and horse riding before finding her niche as a swimmer. Two golds and a silver at the 2014 Auckland Oceania championships suggested she might be something special.
That promise was further realised at the 2015 world junior titles in Singapore where she won gold in the 400m freestyle and helped Australia to a junior world record in the 4x200m freestyle relay with a brilliant lead-off leg. And for good measure she claimed silver in the 200m butterfly.
It came as no surprise when she was named as the youngest swimmer on the 2016 Rio Olympic Team where she placed sixth in the 400m freestyle final while again earning a silver as a member of the 4x200m freestyle relay squad in which she swam the crucial anchor leg.
But just as everything was going brilliantly for her, she injured her neck on a car accident. She had already been toying with the idea of taking a break from the pool but she made up her mind after missing selection in the Australian Team for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.
The deferment of the Tokyo Olympics from 2020 to 2021 because of the Covid-19 outbreak might actually have worked in Tamsin’s favour. She returned to the pool in 2020 after booking lane sessions during the initial lockdown periods and thankfully the water worked its magic. After a short time she re-joined her coach Mick Palfrey.
It still was a phenomenal effort when Tamsin qualified for the Olympic Team after just six months of elite training, swimming a 4.04.10 race to finish with the silver medal at the trials behind eventual Olympic champion Ariarne Titmus.
She marginally improved on that performance in Tokyo but her 4.04.07 clocking agonisingly left her ninth overall – one place and .73sec away from swimming in what became a truly memorable Olympic final. But again, she came away from her second Olympics with a medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay, a bronze this time.