Spofforth, Tancock and Renwick miss out

30 July 2012 / 22:13

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.

In the semi-finals, Hannah Miley reached her second final of the week with a superb swim of 2:10.89 in the 200m individual medley.