Stockport’s James Goddard misses out on medal at London 2012, in final mixed night for Team GB Olympic swimmers

By Barrie White

Stockport swimmer James Goddard missed out on a London 2012 medal last night, in what proved to be a mixed night for Great Britain’s swimmers.

James Goddard finished seventh in the 200m individual medley final, while USA swimmer Michael Phelps won his 20th Olympic medal confirming him as the greatest Olympian of all time.

Stockport swimmer Goddard admitted he went for broke from the start to give himself the best chance of a medal, but paid for it in the second 100m and finished with a time of 1:59.05 mins.

“I really tried to go for it and I paid for it down the back hundred,” said Goddard.

“It’s been a fantastic experience and it being a home Olympic Games, it’s a great experience.

“I need to go back and evaluate. I’d like to carry on I think.

“The preparation has been good – I’ve been training great, it just hasn’t happened. And I don’t know why.

“I don’t wish that I had swum that differently, I had to go for it. I sat down with my coach and we said let’s just go for it, which I did – I’m quite happy.”

Fran Halsall finished in sixth place in the women’s 100 metres freestyle, despite looking like she was in for a medal as the field headed into the last 40m.

The Southport swimmer, who touched the wall in a time of 53.66 seconds, was visibly dissatisfied as she left the pool, with the Netherland’s Ranomi Kromowidjojo setting a new Olympic record at 53.00 secs.

Halsall believes she gave it all she could in the pool, but accepted it was not enough to do the job on the night.

“I just didn’t have it today,” said the 22-year-old.

“It’s one of those things. You can’t change it now, but I gave it my best shot and that’s all I can do.

“It’s just about racing, and I needed to put in a good race tonight and the time just wasn’t there. There’s not much I can say about, but at least I’ve still got the 50m to come.

“I feel a bit better about the 50m than I do about the 100m at the moment.”

Lizzie Simmonds made it to the final of the 200 metres backstroke in 2:08.48 minutes as the seventh fastest qualifier, but Stephanie Proud was left distraught after finishing outside of the top eight.

Simmonds, 21, was disappointed with her swim and initially thought she would not make it through, but did enough to make it onto the starting blocks.

“I’m guessing I was a little bit disappointed, but it was a lot better than the heats,” said the Loughborough-based swimmer.

“I went out there and had my own race. I would have liked a little bit better, but it’s still a decent swim I guess.

“Experiencing this and being with the crowd and stuff, I guess it’s a thank you to everyone who came.

An emotional Proud, who finished in 2:09.04 mins, was left disappointed with the result, but the 23-year-old, who is based in America, tried to put a positive spin on the result.

She said: “I’ve got to put it in perspective but coming ninth was so hard. At least I can come back and cheer everybody on.”

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