Dr Elaine Tor

Success for me was being able to complete a PhD. It's not something that I ever thought I would ever do when I was younger, growing up.

My name's Doctor Elaine Tor and I completed my honours and PhD at Victoria University, and now I am the Biomechanist here at the Victorian Institute of Sport.

I think the best thing about VU was that I was able to combine a practical experience at the AIS and also they were able to support that through being able to provide me a good base here in Melbourne. It was, I guess, the best of both worlds in that I was able to combine industry-based experience with a research degree as well.

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Dr Elaine Tor

One of the major highlights for me, was being able to contribute to Mack Horton's gold medal in Rio in the 400 metre freestyle. That was a project that we undertook, maybe, 12 months ago with his coach, Craig Jackson. He approached me and he said that he wanted Mack to be the best turner in the world.

Commentator

... a chance to swim into history. He's our leader with just over half a lap to swim.

Dr Elaine Tor

We picked out, I guess, three main areas we could work on. So, they were improving his actual turn mechanics, ensuring that he was faster in his push off the wall, and also changing the way he did his underwater push off. We were able to get a really good result in Rio.

Commentator

He gets to the wall and he wins it! The 400 freestyle title, back in Australian hands.

Dr Elaine Tor

In terms of sports science, VU is probably one of the universities with the most industry-based connections and partnerships. I think that's not only helped me in my research career but it's also helping me now that I'm in the industry and I'm working, and you know, the people that I'm working with in terms of the athletes and the coaches are also benefiting from that as well.

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Elaine is continuing to work with elite swimmers as part of the next four year Olympic Cycle. 

She will also be supervising Victoria University Honours and PhD students looking and individualising biomechanical approaches for better performance outcomes.

Kick-start your impact in the sports industry at vu.edu.au/study-sport