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Report Back: Martin Binedell – Olympic Trials 2016

Martin Binedell shares his experiences at SA Olympic Trials 2016. I love his relentless fire and passion for the sport of swimming despite many challenges. Go for it with all your heart Martin!


Q: You made such a wonderful statement recently, you said “Although I didn’t qualify for this year’s Olympics, I can say that I am hungrier than ever before, more determined than ever before and nothing, no one will change that”. What causes this fire and determination burning within you?

ANSWER: Obviously nationals wasn’t what I hoped for, I felt like I let a lot of people, most notably myself down but I always believe everything happens for a reason and when taking into account my untimely injury a couple months prior to the trials, I have a lot to be thankful for. I’m still young (20) 2020 was always the end goal as it still is. As to what drives me, I’ve never wanted anything more than to represent my country at the Olympic games, when I’m swimming, when I’m driving, even when I’m sleeping I visualise swimming at the Olympic games.

 Q: You did brilliantly at SA Nationals / Olympic Trials 2016, the with many podium positions, congrats! It was still one of the toughest, and most important sporting events for a swimmer to attend. Would you like to share what is on your heart and mind and how you experienced it?

ANSWER: Nationals was a great experience, all credit to the organisers on setting the stage for such an event. I enjoyed the challenge and felt up to it, alot of swimmers drowned in the occasion and let nerves get the better of them but all in all it was a fitting meet for an Olympic qualifying event.

 Q: What was your biggest challenge leading up to the Olympic Trials (if any), and how did you manage that challenge?

ANSWER: As I said, my injury was a huge setback, a freak accident in the gym caused me to fracture the radial head in my elbow, an injury usually followed by an operation and 3 months out the water, meaning I’d miss trials all together but with a lot of therapy and the added bonus of not having to do the op, we turned 3 months into a month

 Q: What was your state of mind leading up to it?

ANSWER: Leading up to trials I was very focused, not on the racing to come but in my preparations. I knew nerves would get the better of me if I over thought it, so I focused all my thoughts on what needed to be done in the lead up. Visualisation prior helped me deal with pre-race nerves and my thoughts were only on the controllables, my technique, strategy and nothing else.

 Q: Why do you have such deep seated respect for your coach/es and support system along your journey?

ANSWER: Without the support of my family and friends, swimming would be an even more lonely sport. I’m very grateful for their continual interest and sometimes even criticism. That’s when my coaches come In. I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some great coaches, each one teaching me something new. For that I am very grateful

 Q: Lessons learned/ notes to self so far on your swimming journey in general?

ANSWER: so far I’ve been taught some very tough lessons and each one has made me stronger than I was before, the lesson of staying positive and believing that everything happens for a reason has helped me overcome dark time and seemingly hopeless situations.

 Q: You know full well how years fly by, and that is never too early to start preparations. What is in the immediate pipeline for your swimming / academic career?

ANSWER: First thing was to take a long needed break from swimming and spend time with friends and family but more importantly to reassess my goals and to step back and look at where I went wrong this past cycle, to plan my next 4 years and to prepare myself for what was needed. Academically I’m keen on finishing my Marketing Degree and to further my knowledge in the field.

 Q: Anything else you would like to share?

ANSWER: Just to the younger swimmers looking to qualify for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Its not once every 4 years, Its everyday for 4 years. Olympic cycles are shorter than you think, before you know it, you’re standing behind the blocks asking yourself if you did enough since 2016s trials.

Big thanks to Heslop Sports for all the support and for this opportunity


Further Reading on Martin: http://heslopsports.co.za/wp/martin-binedell/

Photo Credits: Brian Spurr

Brian was at the Olympic Trials 2016 for the entire duration of the event and you can thus order any of your most up close and precious captured memories from him.

Here are his contact details:

Facebook: Here

Cell: 082 553 2029

E:mail: brian.spurr@gmail.com

You may then contact Brian via e-mail to place your order giving your name and other details. You can also go over to Flickr and check out what he has loaded.

Flicker Links for you to copy and paste into your web browser to see sample photos

MEDALS – https://www.flickr.com/photos/139878654@N05/sets/72157667100483252/

GENERAL SWIMMING – https://www.flickr.com/gp/139878654@N05/B3i3P6


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