Spofforth, Tancock and Renwick miss out
Gemma Spofforth finished fifth in the 100m backstroke final
While there were no British medals in the Olympic swimming pool there were fifth-place finishes for Gemma Spofforth and Liam Tancock and a sixth for Robbie Renwick as the strength of the sport across the world was highlighted.
Medals were spread across the traditional powerhouses of the United States, Australia and China but there were also visits to the rostrum for swimmers from South Korea and Lithuania.
Spofforth's desire to compete after losing her motivation following turbulent times in and out of the pool was only reignited at the Olympic trials in March. Given she had such little time to get back into the sort of shape that would see her challenge, the prospect of a visit to the rostrum in the 100 metres backstroke is one that not long ago would have seemed unlikely.
Here the 24-year-old was 0.37secs off a bronze medal in 59.20 seconds in a race won by 17-year-old Missy Franklin and the Florida-based British swimmer admits she was disappointed not to have improved upon her fourth place in Beijing where she missed out on a medal by a fingernail.
Spofforth said: "I came into tonight really wanting a medal and 2008 came fourth so to come fifth is a bit of a disappointment. But I've said all along it's been a journey not a destination and for me it's rekindling that love and finding something I am really passionate about and happy about and having fun with life again."
Tancock is the double world champion and world record holder in the 50m backstroke but with that not being an Olympic event, he concentrated solely on the two-length race here. The 27-year-old had qualified third fastest and there was optimism he could force his way into the reckoning.
Third at the halfway point, the Loughborough ITC swimmer could not maintain his speed in the final metres and although never out of contention, he fell 0.38 short of the podium in 53.35 with American Matt Grevers winning in an Olympic record of 52.16.
Renwick was never really expected to be in the battle for medals in the 200m freestyle where he was up against the likes of world champion Ryan Lochte, Beijing silver medallist Park Tae Hwan and 400m freestyle champion Sun Yang.
Instead, it was Yannick Agnel who claimed his second title, and France's third, in 24 hours. Renwick touched in 1:46.53, a highly-creditable performance, and an improvement on his eighth in Beijing.
Caitlin McClatchey and Hannah Miley reached finals of the 200m freestyle and 200m individual medley.
Considering that in comparison to the other nations we are a small nation it should make sense that we are in general going to always be the last in line for the medals, however as all sport relies upon one person being better than the next it seems illogical that we cannot secure anything in sports that others succeed in.
Maybe our training programs are useless as it strikes me that we only ever do well in the same old things all of the time, maybe we're not supposed to be able to swim well, maybe we are born all-rounder, Daley Thompson, Fatima Whitbread and Mary Peters, they were all as far as I can remember gold medal winners of the pentathlon.
We are not known for sprinters, long distance runners yes, but sprinters no, so I suppose long distance, all round, mariners covers our olympic prospects until our training and interests change so to get us those elusive gold medals.
there will be questions when the olympics are over why we are not doing very well mark my words
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