Shayna Jack almost apologized for saying she was about to get emotional after her bronze medal swim. The 23-year-old comeback star has nothing to apologize for.
After a string of cruel injuries and a two-year doping ban, Jack on Monday morning enjoyed the single sweetest moment of her swimming career and was overcome with emotion.
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Jack missed out on gold in the women’s 50m freestyle final to Aussie superstar Emma McKeon, who won a mind-boggling 11th career gold medal.
It was an astonishing medal sweep for Australia with Meg Harris taking the silver, just 0.04 seconds ahead of Jack.
Jack has previously won world championship gold medals and a Commonwealth Games gold medal in relay events — but this was her first ever major individual swimming medal. You could tell as she fronted the press after the swim that it meant everything,
Jack had qualified fastest for the final and had some regret about missing out on the gold — but falling short against one of the greatest athletes of all time is nothing to be disappointed by.
She started her brief press conference by saying: “I’m just going to get emotional.
“Like it might not have been the result I wanted tonight, but I have to be really proud of how far I’ve come.
“It’s not been an easy journey. It’s been two major hiccups. Just to be standing here today and to be able to get on the podium with these two girls is actually such an honor. I probably can’t put into words how amazing it feels to be here.”
Jack said winning a gold medal in an individual event is the next thing for her to chase with plenty of fire in her belly.
“I have always loved being part of the relays but to progress and to be on the podium as an individual swimmer is second to none,” she said.
“I’m so proud of myself and these girls tonight. We gave it our all.
“I don’t think I’ve given myself that time to recognize how far I’ve come.”
It was an emotional night for the Aussie team with McKeon also briefly breaking down in tears after her historic achievement.
Jack’s emotion shows how far she has come.
She last month became a world champion after anchoring the women’s 4x100m freestyle relay team to gold in Budapest.
Jack was returning after the shock moment on the eve of the 2019 World Championships where it was revealed she had tested positive to anabolic agent Ligandrol.
Jack continually maintained her innocence and had her suspension cut in half by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in November 2020.