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Brits finish seventh and eighth in first World final

29 July 2013

Sophie Allen and Siobhan-Marie O’Connor finished seventh and eighth in their debut World finals on the second day of swimming at the 2013 World Championships in Barcelona.

The British Gas ITC Bath pair were both in the 200m Individual Medley final with Allen clocking 2:11.32 to finish ahead of O’Connor’s 2:12.03.

Both Brits admitted a lack of experience had proved their undoing on the night with O’Connor storming out to turn second at the half-way stage before fading, and Allen struggling to catch up with the field after a slow start.

"I didn’t attack it hard enough and there was too much to do in the last 100," - Sophie Allen“I wasn’t out fast enough really,” said Allen, who set an English record 2:10.23 to qualify fourth fastest for the final.

“I didn’t attack it hard enough and there was too much to do in the last 100.

“Obviously I’m disappointed I wasn’t able to take more off my personal best which I set in the semi-final. If I’d gone that time again, I would have been fourth so I’m gutted to have come seventh.

“But it was my first Worlds final and hopefully I can do better next time.”

Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu ultimately won gold in 2:07.92 ahead of Australia’s Alicia Coutts (2:09.39) and Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia (2:09.45).

And after dropping from second to eighth over the second 100m, O’Connor echoed her teammate's sentiments.

“I really felt it at the end - I need to learn how to swim the race a bit better,” said the 17-year old, who finished ninth from the semi-finals but took her spot in the final after Australia’s Emily Seebohm withdrew.

“I keep going out too fast. I definitely think I got a bit excited with it being the final. I wanted it so much.

“I didn’t make it automatically last night so I wanted to prove to myself that I could post a good time.

“My fly is probably my strongest leg but I need to learn to back off a bit on that to leave a bit more for the last 100.”

" I definitely think I got a bit excited with it being the final. I wanted it so much," - Siobhan-Marie O'ConnorCommonwealth champion Robbie Renwick made smooth progress from the 200m Freestyle semi-finals as he qualified fourth for tomorrow’s final.

The City of Glasgow swimmer is a two-time Olympic finalist over 200m Free but will line-up in his first World final for the distance after clocking 1:46.95 to touch third in his semi.

“I’m really happy with that,” said Renwick.

“I’ve got a good lane for tomorrow night now and I’m really hoping the guys will pull me out in that first 100 because I seem to be lacking a little bit there and then I can really work that second 100.

“Who knows what’s going to happen tomorrow night? It’s going to be a close race, that’s for sure.”

Chris Walker-Hebborn (British Gas ITC Bath) and Lauren Quigley (Stockport Metro) both finished 12th from their respective 100m Backstroke semi-finals.

Walker-Hebborn ducked under the 54 second barrier for only the third time in his career as he clocked 53.96, eventually finishing just 0.15 seconds shy of New Zealand’s Gareth Kean (53.81) in eighth.

“It was nice to go under 54 again,” said Walker-Hebborn, who set a personal best 53.38 to win the British title in Sheffield last month.

“Obviously it’s not quite enough to bring me back so I’m a little bit gutted knowing my personal best would have put me right in the mix.

“But I’ve still got my main event to come with the 200m Back so I’ve got to brush myself off and get ready for it.”

Swimming from lane one in her semi-final, 18-year old Quigley turned fourth at 50m before touching sixth in her semi in 1:00.96.

And the World Championship newcomer also admitted she was frustrated not to improve on her personal best 1:00.07 she set to win the British title in Sheffield last month.

“I’m a bit disappointed because I wanted to go quicker but I can just learn from that swim and hopefully go quicker in the 50m Back later in the week,” said Quigley.

“I’m pleased to make it through the heats at my first Worlds but still I went quicker than that at trials and I wanted to try and PB tonight.”

Having come 0.14 seconds short of the podium in the opening day’s 400m final, Jazz Carlin (British Gas ITC Swansea) was cursing her luck again after missing the 1500m Freestyle final by less than a second.

Competing the distance internationally for the first time, the British record holder finished third in her heat in 16:06.46 but ranked ninth overall after China’s Xu Danlu took the final qualification spot in 16:05.59.

And Carlin admitted swimming two 400m Freestyle races on the opening day had taken its toll.

“It was tough this morning,” said Carlin. “I really wanted to be able to respond to the other girls who kicked in a bit but I didn’t have much left after yesterday.

“Swimming two 400s with the heats and finals took it out of me so it was a difficult swim this morning but obviously I’ve still got the 800 to look forward to.”

Other British swimmers in heats action only were Georgia Davies (British Gas ITC Swansea) who was 19th in the 100m Backstroke in 1:01.61 and Ieuan Lloyd (City of Cardiff) who was 22nd over 200m Freestyle in 1:48.92.

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