The Olympic Trials are well under way and the brand new Aquatics Centre at the Olympic Park is proving to be a popular venue with GB swimmers.
On Saturday the 100m breastroke semi-finals saw Michael qualifying fastest to take the coveted Lane 4 spot and gain a psychological edge over his rivals. At the turn he was just 2 hundredths of a second (a mere fingertip!) ahead of his friend Kristopher Gilchrist, but then finished strongly and well ahead in a time of 1 minute and 66 hundredths of a second (1.00.66).
With just over a second separating the eight fastest swimmers, there was all to play for in Sunday’s final…
After the race Michael tweeted:
Needed that to settle the nerves! Game on tomorrow! Atmosphere was awesome, thanks to everyone coming to watch!! 🙂
In yesterday’s final, British record holder Daniel Sliwinski showed he was the swimmer most eager to get the race over and done with, storming over the first 50m in 27.78 seconds. His commanding lead proved to be unassailable and Daniel easily made the first qualification spot for the Olympics. But who was to join him in second?
Michael’s turn at the 50m mark showed him down in 7th place in a time of 28.79 seconds. But he dug deep over the second length, clawing back the lead from his other rivals. 7th, 6th, 5th, 4th… come on Michael!!!! The race finished in a blur but had Michael done enough?
The scoreboard said it all. Michael had indeed made the qualification time of 1.00.50 required for the second Team GB spot. He’d swum a Personal Best time, BUT 17 year-old Craig Benson swam the race of his life to finish just ahead at the touch in a time of 1.00.47.
Michael looked very disappointed at the medal ceremony and I hope he can recover from this moment and take forward the positives from his race. 200m breastroke is Michael’s better event, so last night was an excellent platform to build on ready for Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s 200m races.
I’ve tweeted the following message to Michael on behalf of Smiths News:
…take the positives from today ready for your next race. Me and all of
#smithsnews are still cheering for you!!!
Now let’s all get behind Michael and cheer him onto his next race.