Halsall secures best Olympic 100m Free result in 44 years

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2nd August 2012

Fran Halsall achieved Team GB’s best Olympic 100m Freestyle result in 44 years as she finished sixth at London 2012.

Having qualified joint-fifth for the final, the 22-year old clocked her fastest time of the meet, touching just 0.22 seconds shy of bronze in 53.66.

It is just racing and I thought I had it in me to put in a good race tonight but the time just wasn't there.

The Netherlands’ Ranomi Kromowidjojo set an Olympic record to win gold in 53.00 ahead of Belarus’ Aliaksandra Herasimenia (53.38) and China’s Tang Yi (53.44).

And while she had secured the best British result since Bobby McGregor finished fourth in the men’s event at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, Halsall admitted she was hoping for more from the final.

“What can I say, I just didn’t have it tonight,” said Halsall, who won World Championship silver in 2009.

“It’s just one of those things. I can’t change it now unfortunately. I gave it my best shot and that’s all I could do.

“I thought I had it in me to put in a good race tonight but the time just wasn’t there.

“I’ve got the 50m to come and I’m feeling a bit better about the 50m than the 100m so I’ll pick myself up for that.”

The only other Brit in a final on the sixth day was James Goddard, who gave it his all before clocking 1:59.05 to finish seventh in the 200m Individual Medley final.

It's been a fantastic experience and to compete at a home Olympics is a real dream.

Competing in his third individual Olympic final at his third Olympic Games, the 29-year old turned in fourth at the half-way stage.

But the leaders pulled away in the last 100m and Goddard admitted he didn’t have the legs to stay in the race after an exhausting opening two lengths.

“I really had to go for it and I paid for it down the back 100m a little bit,” said Goddard.

“But it’s been a fantastic experience and to be at a home Games is a real dream.

“I’ll have to go back an evaluate now. My preparation’s been great, my training’s been great. It just hasn’t happened here – I don’t know why.”

Halsall’s training partner Lizzie Simmonds booked a final berth in her only event of the Games – the 200m Backstroke.

Tomorrow night is going to be a completely different ball game.

The 21-year old finished sixth in the same event on her Olympic debut four years ago and secured her spot with a 2:08.48 effort, progressing seventh fastest.

And having finished fifth in the first semi-final, the 2010 European champion admitted it was a nervous experience watching the second semi.

It was a horrible, horrible wait,” said Simmonds. “I’d resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t going to make the final.

“Coming fifth in a semi-final, it’s unlikely that you’re going to make it in. So it’s great to get a spot.

“Tomorrow night is going to be a completely different ball game. I’m going to be in an outside lane but I’m happy with that.”

Steph Proud set a season’s best in the second semi-final to finish a creditable ninth at her first Olympic Games.

Having qualified 10th fastest for the semis, Proud clocked 2:09.04 – the second fastest time of her career – to miss out on the final by an agonising 0.28 seconds.

“I would have loved to have been in the final but it wasn’t meant to be,” said Proud.

“I think the swim went really well. I know I go out slower than the other girls but that’s just my race – I come back fast on the last 50m which I think I did.”

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