‘It physically and mentally hurts ... but I hope I've made mum proud’July 29, 2021
Emotional James Wilby admitted it ‘physically and mentally hurt’ after missing out on an Olympic medal – but hoped he’d made his mum proud.
Wilby clocked 2:08.19 as he finished sixth in a quick Men’s 200m Breaststroke which saw winner Izaac Stubblety-Cook set a new Olympic record of 2:06.38.
The 27-year-old’s mum is a nurse who has been administering Covid vaccines and he expressed his sadness that he hadn’t won a medal for her.
“I’m disappointed obviously,” said Wilby. “It was a pretty strong race and physically and mentally it hurts a bit.
“Those guys really put in a good showing and deserved the results they got. I’m just disappointed that I wasn’t up there with the challenging for the medals. The result is what it is.
“I’m gutted individually to leave the Olympics with nothing to show for it but there are more medals for the team and no-one is going to switch off.
“My mum has put in such a shift for me over the last 27 years – I hope I make her proud.
“I haven’t quite won the medal I would have liked to have won for her. She has been working as a nurse giving out vaccines recently to an extent that makes me so proud of her.
“I hope she enjoyed watching that.”
Renshaw, Wood into final
Team GB secured places in all of Friday’s swimming finals with good friends Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood both sealing spots in the Women’s 200m Breaststroke race.
After their National Centre Loughborough team-mate Luke Greenbank qualified for the 200m Backstroke final, Renshaw and Wood finished third and fourth respectively in the 200m Breaststroke semi-finals.
Wood put the disappointment of narrowly missing out on a medal in the 200m Individual Medley final to book a second final place in her debut Games.
She said: “I knew I had to be an outside burner here.
“Yesterday was so hard turning it round. It was a really emotional day and I knew I needed to get in the semis and then I could reset this morning.
“Yesterday really put a fire in my belly and I didn’t want to finish racing yet, so I’m really happy with that.
“Molly, Sarah Vasey and I have been training together since I was 11. I was probably the annoying little sister to them.
“The fact we’re all here together and in the same apartment, it makes the home comforts nicer. Then being in the call room with Molly as well on the breaststroke, she’s such a role model, how she goes about everything.
“She is so professional – I follow her around like a lost puppy.”
Renshaw said: “I went out trying to be brave and keeping up with Lilly King as I know she goes out fast.
“So I tried to stick with her and then down the last 50m, everything started to go a bit numb.
“I think tomorrow the focus needs to be around keeping the technique strong and hopefully that will be bring me back faster.
“I still think I probably need to be out as fast as I was, but try to manage the last 50m a little better and not try to concentrate on what’s going around me.
“I’ll be out there on my own in an outside lane, hopefully I can just focus on my swim and not focus on what’s going on in the middle.
“That was a really good swim from Abbie.
“She had such a tough day yesterday. So to turn it round and make the final from an outside lane in the semi, she has handled this whole thing so well and it just shows how much she has grown in the past year.”
Anna edges through
Anna Hopkin reached the 100m Freestyle final by the narrowest of margins.
After setting a British record in the heats to reach the semi-finals, she was slightly slower and edged through eighth fastest by 0.01 seconds.
Hopkin finished fourth in her semi-final, in a time of 53.11.
She said: “I wasn’t sure the time was going to make it in, so when I saw I’d scraped in eighth, I was really happy.
“Swimming the morning after last night, it was always going to be tough, so I’m just glad to get it out the way and I can come back fresh tomorrow.
“You don’t know how you’re going to swim in the morning, so I did want to put a good time out last night in the heats, having the opportunity to swim in the evening.
“That was a really good swim for me last night and was always going to be hard to back up, but I did what I needed to do and hopefully I can get back to what I did yesterday tomorrow.”
Freya Anderson missed out on a place in the final as she finished sixth in her semi-final in 53.53.
“I’m trying to not let this set me back,” said Anderson. “Looking back, I’ve only got in six weeks of proper training as I’ve just been injured constantly and had illnesses leading up to this.
“I’m just happy I got to come and experience this really.”
Alys Thomas finished seventh in the 200m Butterfly final, while Duncan Scott reached the 200m Individual Medley final after winning his heat.