Hrafnhildur Lúthersdóttir is beside herself with joy after winning the silver medal in the 100-meter breaststroke at the European championships being held in London.
Hrafnhildur is the first Icelander to ever win a European championship medal in a 50-meter long pool. She swam the race in a time of 1:06.45 and finished behind only world-record-holder Ruta Meilutyte, from Lithuania. Hrafnhildur’s time is a new Icelandic record.
“Wow! I’m totally speechless. I’ve dreamt of this and wanted it so much. But at the same time I was kind of trying not to have too high hopes,” the swimmer told RÚV Wednesday evening.
“I didn’t think much about what I was doing for the first 50 meters. But my coach has really been concentrating on my turns. So I was really thinking about them and I think I made the turn well. Then I just had to finish the swim and use my feet as much as I could, because I rely more on my feet than my hands when swimming. So I used all the power I had left in me and apparently it worked out for me,” she said.
“I have always held back from announcing about my goals, because I don’t want to increase the pressure on me, but I have always had this goal. I also don’t want people to expect too much of me. But when I announced my goal yesterday, maybe I was just secure enough with myself to achieve this,” Hrafnhildur added.
Hrafnhildur is the first ever Icelander to stand on the medals podium after a European championship swimming race in a 50-meter pool. “It means a lot to me and is fun. I hope that the other Icelanders who are here can follow on from this, and even do better than me. This shows that we take it seriously. We want to be one of the big swimming nations.”