Backstrokers fifth on day three
30th July 2012
World gold medallists Liam Tancock and Gemma Spofforth finished fifth in their respective 100m Backstroke finals on the third day of the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Commonwealth champion Tancock was never out of the medal hunt in his final but lost out in a desperate lunge for the wall as he touched in 53.35.
I came fifth today but I'll hold my head up high and say that I've given it everything.
USA’s Matt Grevers took gold in 52.16 ahead of American compatriot Nick Thoman in 52.92 while it took a late surge from Japan’s Ryosuke Irie to clinch bronze ahead of the rest of the field in 52.97.
But Tancock - who won 50m Backstroke gold at the past two World Championships - insisted he couldn't have put more into the race than he did.
“I went out there and gave it everything and it just didn’t quite come off this time,” said Tancock.
“I love this sport and this crowd was incredible tonight. It’s a dream to swim in a pool like this in front of such great support.
“I came fifth today but I’ll hold my head up high and say that I’ve given it everything.”
Spofforth had struggled with form and illness since winning her world title in a world record in 2009.
I’ve been at rock bottom or pretty close to it so it’s nice to find a passion for something again.
But the 24-year old looked back to her best in London and saved her fastest performance for the final, clocking her quickest time since the 2009 World Championships to finish fifth in 59.20.
USA's Missy Franklin won gold in 58.33 ahead of Australia's Emily Seebohm (58.68) and Japan's Aya Terakawa (58.83)
And while Spofforth admitted she was disappointed not to make the podium, she insisted it was a relief to be simply enjoying the sport again.
“Obviously I wanted a medal but my journey since 2008 has been up and down and I believe everything happens for a reason,” said Spofforth.
“I’ve really enjoyed this year. I’ve been at rock bottom or pretty close to it so it’s nice to find a passion for something again.
“I’m a three-time Olympic finalist now and we’ve got the relay to come so I’m going to focus on that.”
Robbie Renwick was Team GB’s third finalist on day three, finishing sixth in the 200m Freestyle final.
I would have liked to watch a race like that but the important thing was to be part of it.
The Commonwealth champion clocked his fastest time in an individual 200m Free race, eventually touching home in 1:46.53.
France's Yannick Agnel won gold in 1:43.14 while South Korea's Park Tae Hwan and China's Sun Yang shared silver on 1:44.93.
But having finished eighth in the same event four years ago, Renwick was adamant he couldn't find many faults in his performance.
“All in all it was a solid swim,” said Renwick. “It was faster than yesterday. I can’t believe it went so fast really but it was a good swim for me.
“I would have liked to watch a race like that but the important thing was to be part of it.
“It was fantastic to hear everyone cheering my name. The support has really boosted the team here.”
Caitlin McClatchey secured a spot in the Olympic 200m Freestyle final for the second consecutive Games with a rousing performance to start the night.
I could hear the crowd the whole way through that race - it was fantastic.
The former Commonwealth champion took her semi-final out but showed her endurance to hold her pace in the last 50m and touch second in 1:57.33.
And having progressed to the final in sixth, the triple Olympian admitted the home crowd had inspired her throughout.
“I could hear the crowd the whole way through that race,” said McClatchey. "It was fantastic.
"I wasn't really expecting to make the final so I'm really, really pleased. I'm a bit overwhelmed and I can't wait for tomorrow night now.
"It's such a tough event right now and I knew it would be so close between the top eight."
Hannah Miley ensured there would be two British finalists in action on day four as she progressed seventh fastest into the 200m Individual Medley final.
Having finished fifth in her preferred 400m IM earlier in the week, the Scot stormed back in the second 100m of her semi to touch second in her heat in 2:10.89.
"I was hoping for top three in my semi so second is great," said Miley.
"I'm really pleased. I feel like my stroke is finally coming together.
"I've got a bit of speed and fast twitch in me as which makes a change so I'm happy with that."