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Gutsy Miley fifth in London

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28th July 2012

Hannah Miley put in a gutsy performance to finish fifth on the opening finals session of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

The 22-year old pushed hard to qualify sixth fastest for the final and improved on her morning swim to touch in 4:34.17.

I’m gutted I didn’t medal obviously but I know I couldn’t have given any more – that was everything I had.

China’s Ye Shiwen and USA’s Elizabeth Beisel were locked in a battle for gold before Ye eventually clocked a world record 4:28.43 for the title ahead of Beisel’s 4:31.27.

Miley was firmly in the battle for bronze and while she couldn’t quite find the legs to keep up with China’s Li Xuanxu (4:32.91), the World silver medallist insisted she couldn’t have pushed any harder on the night.

“I gave that everything I had,” said Miley. “It was a real dogfight just to get to into the final so that was all about who was able to recover quickest.

“I’m gutted I didn’t medal obviously but I know I couldn’t have given any more – that was everything I had.

“That was one place better than Beijing and I’ve got the 200m IM to go so we’ll see how that goes.

“I was a really solid swim. It could have been a lot worse so I’m happy that I gave it all.”

David Carry was Team GB’s first individual finalist of the night and came home seventh in the 400m Freestyle.

What a feeling - I can't believe it.

Competing at his third Games, the 30-year old was contesting his first individual final and made the most of the opportunity, sticking with the field from an outside lane to touch in 3:48.62.

China’s Sun Yang ultimate came through to win in an Olympic record 3:40.14 ahead of Park Tae Hwan (3:42.06) and Peter Vanderkaay (3:44.69).

But Carry insisted he could have no regrets after a ‘dream’ start to the Games.

“What a feeling,” said Carry. “I can’t believe it.

“A year ago, I set myself this challenge of reaching the Olympic final and theres’ been some rocky patches along the way.

“I knew it was going to be a tough ask after a huge amount of effort to get to the final so to do that tonight with all that support is a dream.

“I’ve had a team of around 100 people helping me to get to that final tonight from my mum and dad to my coaches and my physio who get me back to shape.”

There were four Team GB finalists in the ultimate event of the night as Amy Smith, Jessica Lloyd, Caitlin McClatchey and Fran Halsall contested the 4x100m Freestyle final.

The British women drew inspiration from the crowd to finish fifth in 3:37.02 – more than a second faster than their qualification time.

Australia (3:33.15) ultimately took gold ahead of the Netherlands (3:33.79) and USA (3:34.24) but nobody could fault the British performance, having failed to make the final at last year’s World Championships.

And 17-year old Lloyd admitted making a final on her Olympic debut was something she wouldn’t forget in a hurry.

“That’s not bad making the final the first time around,” said Lloyd.

“We’re really happy with that, especially coming so close to a medal.

“Hopefully in 2015, I’ll be up there grabbing a medal myself.”

Halsall was also in individual action on the night, finishing 14th in the 100m Butterfly semi-finals after clocking 58.52.

British record holder Ellen Gandy was also in the 100m Butterfly semi-finals and secured the first Olympic final berth of her career with a confident swim.

Everyone has a shot in the final so I'm just going to give it everything tomorrow night.

The 20-year old touched fifth in her heat but her time of 57.66 saw her progress seventh fastest into tomorrow’s final.

“The time wasn’t great and I swallowed water on the turn but I’m so happy to make my first Olympic final,” said Gandy.

“This morning I didn’t want to look at the crowd and I didn’t want to get overwhelmed but I’m so glad I listened to it today – it was phenomenal.

“Everyone has a shot in the final so I’m just going to give it everything tomorrow night.”

Having both broken the Scottish record in the heats, Olympic debutants Michael Jamieson and Craig Benson took the 100m Breaststroke semi-finals in high spirits.

Jamieson had become only the fourth Brit to swim under a minute in the heats and repeated the feat in the semis, repeating his heat swim of 59.89 to touch third in his heat and ninth overall.

I treated this morning like a final and being a 200 swimmer that's what I have to do over this distance.

And the 23-year old admitted his performances had filled him with confidence ahead of his preferred 200m Breaststroke later in the Games.

“It was pretty close,” said Jamieson. “I had a great swim this morning and took a huge chunk off my best time.

“I treated this morning like a final and being a 200 swimmer that’s what I have to do over this distance.

“Obviously I’m a little disappointed to finish ninth but it bodes well for the 200 so I’m really pleased.”

Competing at his first senior long course championship, 18-year old Benson was the only swimmer in the semi-finals under 23.

But the teenager underlined his potential with another standout performance, touching in 1:00.13 to finish 14th overall.

“I really wanted to get to that final tonight but it wasn’t meant to be,” said Benson.

“But this is definitely the best experience of my life. I’ve never been to a World Championships or a Commonwealth Games so I think I’ve handled it quite well and I’m really happy on the whole.”

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