Tokyo 2020 Olympics: Emotional James Wilby sorry he couldn't honour NHS mum with medal

Great Britain’s James Wilby paid tribute to his mother Fiona, an NHS nurse, after falling short in the men’s 200m breaststroke final.

James Wilby reacts after the Men's 200m Breaststroke Final

The 27-year-old finished sixth in the final and was disappointed not to be able to win a medal for his “role model”.

"My mum’s been putting in such a shift for me over the last 27 years and that's probably the main disappointment,” an emotional Wilby said afterwards.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

"I know I've made her proud, but I haven't quite won the medal I would like to have won for her.

"She's been working as a nurse giving out vaccines recently which makes me so proud of her, and for what's she done for me and my brother over the last few years.

"She's the role model in all this; I hope she enjoyed watching that."

The race, which was won by Australia’s Zac Stubblety-Cook, could be Wilby’s final participation in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He is part of the men’s 4x100m medley relay group but the breaststroke leg is likely to be taken by Adam Peaty.

Wilby finished fifth behind his GB colleague in Monday’s 100m breaststroke final and will be 30 by the time of the next Games at Paris in 2024, but remains adamant that he has a crucial supporting role to play in the remaining swim events in Tokyo.

"There are some people who I train with and am very close with. I want to be there to help wherever I can.

"If I get a chance to swim again, I'll be ready to put this behind me and put in a good effort for the team."

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by Coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.


Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.