Loughran books London place

21 June 2012 / 20:39

Swimmer Marco Loughran issued a perfect response to his Facebook detractors after booking his place on Team GB for London 2012 at the final trials in Sheffield.

The 23-year-old was second behind Chris Walker-Hebborn in the 200 metres backstroke on Thursday night as both men joined the Great Britain team heading for the Aquatics Centre.

For Loughran it provided a mixture of emotion and a positive conclusion to a turbulent six months which saw him quit the sport in December after a major fall-out with his coaches at the University of Florida, where he swam alongside Olympic champion Ryan Lochte as well as British world record holder Gemma Spofforth.

He returned to Britain at the turn of the year, January 19 to be exact, and started training again at Guildford City, and six months later booked an Olympic spot.

With Walker-Hebborn a clear winner in one minute 57.17 seconds, Loughran dug deep and ducked 0.14secs inside the required FINA A time in 1min 58.34secs. For the Welshman it answered his critics.

Loughran said: "I've had some people in America - random haters sending me messages on Facebook saying I couldn't do it, I'd left it too late. I got through to the final, came back and showed them what I'm made of and I'm so proud of myself now."

Former British record holder Walker-Hebborn revealed he had come down with laryngitis just before the first trials in London in March. So, for both men there was relief as well as delight.

The Bath ITC swimmer said: "I'm feeling good, I'm swimming well. I've just got to try and master this double taper now.

"I'd love to drop back into the 1:56s where I finished off in 2009.

"We'll see what happens, I am just so happy to be on the team."