SCOTTISH swimmer Michael Jamieson brushed off his 100m disappointment as the curtain came up on the London 2012 Olympics – claiming he’s proved he’s primed for the medal mix-up over 200m.
The 23-year-old, who used to swim for Edinburgh University, coasted through his 100m breaststroke heat on Saturday with a new personal best and Scottish record of 59.89 seconds and in his semi-final, he clocked the same time to finish third. His was the slower semi-final, however, and Jamieson’s time put him ninth overall, ensuring he agonisingly missed out on a place in the final by just 0.11 seconds. But rather than dwell on his disappointment, Jamieson believes there are plenty of positives to take before his favoured event – the 200m breaststroke – starts tomorrow, when he will be bidding to improve on his fifth-place finish at the World Championships in Shanghai last year.
“I am pretty happy with it to dip under 60 seconds twice in a day. I have made a big step forward in the 100m so I am happy,” said Jamieson.
“Obviously it is a bit disappointing not to have made the final but I think looking at that top eight for the 100m final there is not that many people who will be at the top of the rankings of the 200m.
“These guys are all real natural sprinters and so I think that is just highlighting how much the sport has come on in the last few years. The margin for error is so small.
“Looking at the way I swim the race as well, I come on strong in the second 50m but it was a big PB and a Scottish record.
“There will be a couple of the guys there in the 200m so it is going to be really tough again to progress the rounds in that. But I have done a few PBs in the 100m and I have got to look at it as me having another day off on top of these guys.
“I can have a rest and a massage and then come back fired up for the 200m.”
Meanwhile, Livingston’s Craig Benson finished sixth in the same semi-final, having carved a sizeable chunk off his personal best in the heat to get there.
His time of 1:00.04 saw him advance in fourth place but after touching home in the semi 0.09 slower, the 18-year-old missed out on a place in the final. And while Benson is adamant he can leave London with his head held high and look towards Rio 2016 with optimism, he admitted his Olympic campaign was tinged with disappointment after failing to duck under the one-minute barrier.
“I was really happy with the heats and to do a big PB in there and make it to the semi-final was a really big achievement for me,” he said.
“But I really wanted to go under the minute again and make it to the final but I guess it took a lot out of me swimming the way I did in the heat.
“I was pretty tired in that race but hopefully I have got another Olympics or two to come. But I really did want to get into the final and try and race and beat the top guys but it wasn’t meant to be.
“Surprisingly I was not overawed about the people I was racing. You think about it every day and about how big it is going to be and then you turn up and it is just another swim meet. It’s the same length of pool and things but the experience I have had here is definitely the best experience I have ever had in my life.”
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