By Neto Baptiste
Olympic swimmers Samantha Roberts and Stefano Mitchell are settling in well in Tokyo’s Olympic Village, having both arrived on Wednesday in anticipation of next Tuesday’s start to the various swimming events.
Speaking with Observer media from Tokyo, Roberts, who will be the country’s female flag bearer during Friday’s opening ceremony, said she is looking forward to flying the country’s flag at the prestigious event.
“I was very surprised because I didn’t know they were going to have two flag bearers this year — which I find very cool to have a female and a male both hold the flag — so I was very proud to be asked to take that position,” she said.
As to her preparedness for the highly competitive swim events, Roberts said has been working on her weaknesses going into the Olympics.
“I have been working mainly on my power and my kick because my legs have been very weak since 2016, so I have been trying to improve on that. I have also been trying to work on my speed and the rotation of my arm. I do the 50 meters and I am trying to improve the 100 meters as well because with sprints you need to have a lot of strength and power,” she said.
Mitchell, a former Sportsman of the Year, said that all he’s done over the past five years has been in preparation for the Olympic Games.
“Over the past five months I’ve learnt so much, and not only in the sport but about myself. But it’s been a ride for sure and I’ve enjoyed every bit of it, every obstacle that came my way but I’ve learnt to just take it head on and just enjoy the moment,” he said.
On July 27, Mitchell will compete in the men’s 100m freestyle at 6 am, while three days later, on the 30th, Roberts will compete in the women’s 50m freestyle at 6 am.
Mitchell’s current record for the 100m stands at 50.98, a time he achieved at the Colombian Nationals in June 2021, while Roberts attained her 50m standard of 27.27 at the 2019 World Championships in Korea.