GB swimmers fall short

Team GB swimming trio finish outside the medals

Last Updated: 31/07/12 10:29am

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There was disappointment for Great Britain in Monday night's swimming finals at the Aquatics Centre as Gemma Spofforth, Liam Tancock and Robbie Renwick were unable to win an Olympic medal.

Spofforth's hopes of adding an Olympic title to her collection were dashed when she finished fifth in the final of the 100 metres backstroke as American teenager Missy Franklin claimed the glory.

The 24-year-old was a fingernail away from the podium when she finished fourth in Beijing and her task this time was always going to be a difficult one.

The Florida-based swimmer, who has won world, European and Commonwealth medals, was never out of contention and finished 0.37secs off the podium with a time of 59.20seconds.

Emily Seebohm of Australia took the silver medal with Japan's Aya Terakawa claiming the bronze.

Spofforth said: "I came into tonight really wanting a medal and 2008 came fourth so to come fifth is a bit of a disappointment.

"But I've said all along it's been a journey not a destination and for me it's rekindling that love and finding something I am really passionate about and happy about and having fun with life again.

"That's what I am going to take from this meet and not dwell on the negatives.

"I'm a three-time Olympic finalist now and I've got the relay to come.

"One or two years ago I was ready to quit swimming and to be able to be in a final and get fifth is really special for me."

Missing out

Tancock also fell short of completing his medal collection when he was fifth in the Olympic 100m backstroke, which was won in a new Olympic record by American Matt Grevers.

Tancock is double world champion and world record holder in the 50m backstroke but that is not an Olympic event.

The 26-year-old's best result over two lengths had been world bronze in 2007 a year before he finished sixth at the Beijing Games.

However, he qualified third fastest into the final and there were hopes he could force his way on to the rostrum.

Third at the halfway mark, the Exeter-born swimmer fell just short as he touched in 53.35 seconds with Grevers' winning time 52.16.

Fellow American Nick Thoman won the silver, with Ryosuke Irie of Japan third.

Amazing Agnel

Renwick finished sixth in the 200m freestyle as Frenchman Yannick Agnel won his second title at London 2012 in 24 hours.

Agnel, just 20, anchored the French sprint freestyle squad to victory over the United States on Sunday night when he overhauled Ryan Lochte in the final 10 metres.

And on Monday night he led from the start and enjoyed a dominant victory in one minute 43.14 seconds with Beijing silver medallist Park Tae Hwan and 400m freestyle champion Sun Yang sharing silver while world champion Lochte was locked out of the medals in fourth.

Renwick was unlikely to feature in the battle for medals but his sixth-place finish in 1:46.63secs was creditable.

The Glasgow swimmer said: "I was great to be part of that race. to come away with sixth place is not all bad for me.

"I was faster than I was last night so that's good and I've got the 4x200m relay tomorrow so really looking forward to that.

"I'm a lot wiser than I was four years ago so I've got a lot more experience and hopefully in another two or four years I can be up there on the podium, who knows."

Meilutyte magic

In the night's other final, Ruta Meilutyte claimed a gold medal for Lithuania in the 100m breaststroke.

The 15-year-old led from start to finish to touch in one minute 05.47 seconds as she held off a fast-finishing Rebecca Soni, the Beijing silver medallist.

Meilutyte is coached by Jon Rudd at Plymouth Leander while studying at Plymouth College, the school also attended by diver Tom Daley.


In the semi-finals, Hannah Miley reached her second final of the week with a superb swim of 2:10.89 in the 200m individual medley.

Chinese 16-year-old Ye Shiwen set a new Olympic record of 2:08.39 in qualifying after which she looked barely out of breath although it was noticeable she was not greeted by her rivals in the pool.

Miley, though, said of her rival: "It's absolutely amazing, really astounding, great to be part of that race, part of history.

"She has a lot more to come, she is so young and has a lot of great things."

McClatchey produced her best performance for a long time when she reached the 200m freestyle final in 1:57.33.

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