Goddard eases through heat

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1st August 2012

Commonwealth champion James Goddard eased through the 200m Individual Medley heats as he made his first appearance at London 2012.

The triple Olympian has had to wait until day five to compete in his only event of the Games, but showed no signs of nerves as he cruised through sixth fastest.

I've been dying to race all week and it feels great to get in there myself.

Goddard, who won European silver earlier in the season, came home second in his heat in 1:58.56 and admitted it was a positive start to his medal challenge.

“It was my first swim for a while,” said Goddard. “It’s day five and it’s my first swim so I was really pleased to get it out the way and get it done.

“I’ve been dying to race all week. It’s been great to watch the crowd and the atmosphere but feels great to get to be in there myself.

“I’ve got to be confident – if you’re not confident you’re not going to have a chance. So I’ll just focus on my own race and see what happens.”

Joe Roebuck will join Goddard in the semis after progressing 15th fastest from this morning’s heats.

Competing in his third individual event of the Games, Roebuck finished fourth in his heat in 2:00.04.

Fran Halsall and Amy Smith also qualified for semi-finals, progressing from the heats of the 100m Freestyle.

World silver medallist Halsall finished second in her heat, touching in 54.02 to progress seventh fastest.

I've done enough to get in to the semis and hopefully I can go faster tonight.

But the British record holder – who finished eighth in the 100m Free at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing – admitted she would be pushing herself hard to go faster in the semis.

“I’ve done enough to get in to the semis and hopefully I can go faster tonight,” said Halsall.

“It’s really nice – the crowd definitely pulls you along out there.

“I’d like to dominate this event but I can’t control what anyone else does so I’m just going to focus on my performance tonight and hopefully again in the final tomorrow.”

Smith, who also made the semi-finals at last year’s World Championships in Shanghai, finished fifth in her heat to progress in 13th.

The quartet of Caitlin McClatchey, Rebecca Turner, Ellie Faulkner and Jo Jackson ensured Team GB’s participation in tonight’s 4x200m Freestyle Relay final.

It's a tough field tonight so to get amongst the action would be incredible.

The Brits put in a gutsy swim with Jackson holding off Japanese and Spanish rivals in the final 50m to touch fourth in their heat in 7:54.31.

And after progressing seventh fastest overall, Jackson insisted the Brits weren’t in the final just to make up the numbers.

“It was quite a hard position to be in swimming in the first semi final,” said Jackson.

“It will be amazing tonight in the final. The home support we’ve had has been absolutely incredible. We couldn’t ask for anything more.

“It’s a tough field tonight so to get amongst the action would be incredible. You never know what’s going to happen out there so we’ll give it our best and see what happens.”

Marco Loughran and Chris Walker-Hebborn insisted they would learn from their first Olympics after missing out on the 200m Backstroke semi-finals.

Welsh record holder Loughran was the quicker of the two, touching seventh in his heat and 18th overall in 1:58.72.

And the 23-year old admitted he could have no complaints after clocking the fastest heat swim of his career.

“That was absolutely nuts,” said Loughran. “When the crowd realized there were two Brits in the race, they went ballistic.

“I’m happy with that swim though – I think that’s the quickest I’ve ever gone in the morning so that’s definitely a positive.

“I was really nervous. I was shaking on the blocks. But hopefully when Rio comes around I’ll be more confident.”

Walker-Hebborn finished eighth in the same heat as Loughran, coming home in 1:59.00 to finish 22nd overall.

“It was a below-par time,” said Walker-Hebborn. I’m not really sure where it went wrong.

“I didn’t go out well and I guess that’s one of the dangers of having to qualify at the second trials.

“At the end of the day it’s my fault so I’ll just move on to the next one really.”

Stacey Tadd also narrowly missed out on a debut Olympic semi-final in the 200m Breaststroke.

I knew I would have to PB to make the semi-finals but that was an amazing experience.

The English record holder came within 0.6 seconds of her personal best, touching in 2:27.18 to finish sixth in her heat and 18th overall.

“I would have liked to do a PB but that’s the quickest heat swim I’ve ever done,” said Tadd.

“I knew that I would have to do a PB to make the semi-finals. But it was an amazing experience.

“The crowd really got me fired up. I was quite nervous but that was to be expected and it was an unforgettable experience.”

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