London 2012: Swimming Day Three

Robbie Renwick (sixth), Gemma Spofforth (fifth) and Liam Tancock (fifth) all finish outside the medals in three of the four swimming finals on day three of the London Olympics.

30 July 2012 Last updated at 21:36

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As it happened

  1. 2120: 

    An entertaining evening in the Aquatics Centre and there will be more tomorrow as Michael Phelps will be bidding for a hat-trick of gold medals in the men's 200m butterfly, while the world awaits to see whether China's Ye Shiwen can win double Olympic gold by clinching the women's 200m individual medley and smash another world record in the process. Until then...


    Former Australian swimmer and Olympic goal medallist Ian Thorpe on BBC: "Tonight was a good night for swimming and all pretty exciting too. It was great to see smiley Miley get through to tomorrow's final."


    Elizabeth Hunter on Twitter: "Smiling Hannah in the final!! Let's hope she can find a couple of seconds when it comes."

  4. 2113: 

    The teenager makes world record holder Alicia Coutts look as if she's swimming in treacle by completing the 200m individual medley in 2:08.39 and the Chinese star looks on course for an Olympic double. Coutts came home in 2:09.83 and the duo will be joined in the final by Caitlin Leverenz (2:10.06), Ariana Kukors (2:10.08) and Stephanie Rice (2:10.80). I'm pleased to inform you that Hannah Miley has qualified for the final. Yay!

  5. 2112: 

    It's a strong field in the second 200m individual medley semi-final which has Li Jiaxing, Australian duo Stephanie Rice and Alice Coutts, plus American pair Caitlin Leverenz and Ariana Kukors.

  6. 2110: 

    Hannah Miley on her second place finish: "I was hoping to come in the top three, so I am happy with that, now we will just have to wait and see what happens.

    "I was really pleased, my strokes are finally starting to come together and I have some speed so I am pleased with that. Anything can happen, this is the Olympic Games, all eight could go quicker than me but if they don't I have to get myself ready for a final."

  7. 2109:  
    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    On the first 200m individual medley semi-final: "I cannot believe that seven swimmers from the second semi-final will go quicker, so Hannah Miley has just swum her way into the final."

  8. 2106: 

    The Brit finishes strongly behind Katinka Hosszu to finish in 2:10.89, which according to Adrian Moorhouse should be enough to see her through to the final. Hungary's Hosszu was fastest in 2:10.74, while Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe completed 200m in 2:10.93.


    Britain's Hannah Miley swims in lane two in a group which consists of Israel's Amit Ivry and Japan's Izumi Kato and the Briton is on British record pace approaching 150m.

  10. 2103: 

    Jon Rudd, coach of Plymouth-based Olympic gold medallist Ruta Meilutyte, on BBC One: "I saw her swim about three years ago. She came as a freestyler but we saw what else she could do. She's a great talent but she has always been an extremely vigilant worker. Everything about her is pretty much how we would want it. She works well in the pool, well in the gym, she is very conscientious about her eating and does everything right.

    "The plan is for her to swim the freestyle events, she is good at them but probably not good enough to reach the finals."

  11. 2101: 

    The women's 200m freestyle semi-finals, featuring Britain's Hannah Miley in the first semi and China's Ye Shiwen in the second, will start in a few minutes. Ye swam the last length of the pool quicker than American superstar Ryan Lochte during her swim for gold in the 400m individual medley on Saturday and this morning the Chinese teenager qualified for the 200m freestyle semi a jaw-dropping 1.61 seconds ahead of her nearest challenger, Kirsty Coventry.


    Steffan Davies on Twitter: "Phelps is still an animal - can't see why anyone would want to question him tbh."

  13. 2059: 

    Missy Franklin talking to BBC Radio 5 live after her 100m backstroke gold medal: "I knew it was going to be tough, and I somehow managed to get the gold medal and I have never been as happy in my whole life."

  14. 2058:  
    Karen Pickering, Former world swimming champion and BBC pundit

    "We do not know what kind of form Phelps is in, but there it was in that race, the old Michael Phelps. He decided he wanted to win that. He did a very fast split, so perhaps, he is capable of excelling over the short distances. He picked up the pace, and I think he will be tough to beat tomorrow night."

  15. 2056: 

    Former Australian swimmer and Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe on BBC, speaking about the comments made by Tyler Clary about Michael Phelps: "It was out of order what he said. You have Michael Phelps up there with all his Olympic gold medals and you have Clary with none. You don't have a go at Michael Phelps when you don't have the accomplishments of him."

    To recap: Tyler suggested Phelps did not give his all in training and relied on his talent.


    Dooti Malik on Twitter: "Atta boy! Phelps wins 2nd semi.. It seems like Phelps is really having to work for it..."

  17. 2052: 

    Michael Phelps after winning his 200m fly semi-final: "I made my first Olympic team in this event 12 years ago. The only thing that mattered was reaching the final and I want to win that race. But I am going to have to think of a different strategy. The shorter events are working a lot better for me right now."

  18. 2048: 

    Michael Phelps seemed to be struggling at 150m, trailing in fourth, but he uses that 6ft 7in armspan of his to good effect to motor past his rivals to finish in 1:54.53. Second was Austria's Dinko Jukic in 1:54.95 while Pawel Korzeniowski also makes the final in 1:55.04.

  19. 2046: 

    British swimmer Liam Tancock on BBC Radio 5 live after he finished fifth in the 100m men's backstroke: "The 50m speed comes naturally to me, I am working hard with the cross-training and putting in the metres in the pool, but it takes a long time. It is not just me who is training hard for the race, all the nations are. I got to the top-five this time, and I can't complain as I did it in front of a home crowd and to millions on television."

  20. 2040: 

    @WayneRooney on Twitter: Amazing. Gold medal at 15

  21. 2042: 

    Takeshi Matsuda is first back in 1:54.25, and is followed by South Africa's Chad le Clos in 1:54.34 and Yin Chen in 1:54.43. It's a nervous wait for Clary, though, who taps home in 1:54.93.

  22. 2040: 

    Time for the men's 200m butterfly semi-finals but can anyone beat Michael Phelps? The American is pretty good at most styles but the butterfly is his signature event and he's going for a third straight gold in London. The Baltimore bullet goes in the second semi-final, while his compatriot Tyler Clary swims in the first.

  23. 2034:  
    Mark Foster, Five-time Olympian and BBC analyst

    On the win for Ruta Meilutyte: "I think coming into this with her times you would never have predicted she would get to the final. She was just blown away by the occasion but what a way to do it."

  24. 2033: 

    Ruta Meilutyte who struggled to make sense of things when interviewed by Sharon Davies: "I can't believe it. It's all too much for me. I just can't believe it."

  25. 2031: 

    Meilutyte can't quite believe she is Olympic champion. After her phenomenal time in the semi-finals, where she broke the European record and swam the fourth fastest time in history, her coach Jon Rudd described her as "super human" and said there was no limit to what she could achieve so I'm not sure what he'll have to say after that performance.

  26. 2029:  
    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    On the 100m breaststroke final: "What a couple of days for Ruta Meilutyte, all the way through qualifying she has been the dominant swimmer. With everything going on around her she kept her composure and was the quickest out of the block."

  27. 2025: 

    The 15-year-old Lithuanian led at the turn and holds off Rebecca Soni to win gold. Plymouth College schoolgirl, Ruta Meilutyte, can't quite believe it as she looks to the scoreboard and places her hands over her mouth in shock after seeing her name flash in first spot with a time of 1:05.47. Bronze went to Japan's Satomi Suzuki.

  28. 2023: 

    Oh my word, an engineer walks pool side to fix the malfunctioning beeper! What's wrong with an old fashioned whistle, eh? The start is delayed and the girls jig about at the blocks to keep warm, but they've been told to step onto the box and we're off. "Completely bizarre," says Ian Thorpe.

  29. 2019: 

    One final left this evening and I'm afraid there are no Brits in action but there are two Americans, Rebecca Soni and Breeja Larson, who will hope to add to the four golds already captured by Team USA in the pool, while Lithuania's Ruta Meilutyte, the 15-year-old Plymouth College student, also features in her first major final. Can the teenager win Lithuania's first Olympic medal in the pool?

  30. 2016: 

    Former Australian swimmer and Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe on BBC: "It was disappointing for Liam, I thought he might be able to slip into bronze. It's a great story though because he has had to change his sport just so he can compete at the Olympic games."


    Welsh opera singer Katherine Jenkins on Twitter: "Mum & I loving the excitement at the Aquatic Centre."

    Rebecca Adlington on Twitter: "@LiamTancock unbelievable race!!! So proud to be part of the team GB with you!! Amazing."

  32. 2012:  
    Nick Hope, BBC Sport

    After adding rock-climbing, kick-boxing and even ballet to his regime, 50m world champion Liam Tancock has tried literally everything he possibly can to conquer the 100m backstroke, but again he just didn't have the endurance to rival his opponents.

    Ahead of the Games Tancock said he had no thoughts of quitting the sport after London 2012, but at 27 it is difficult to see him being better placed to realise his Olympic dream four years from now.

    An incredible swimmer who but for the 50m backstroke not being an Olympic event, would most likely have what he craves most.


    Brian Duggan on Twitter:"Brilliant post race remarks by @LiamTancock on the Olympic ideal and the inspiration sport provides."

    Liam Ireland on Twitter: "So many opportunities to nick a medal and we come fourth or fifth. That's the difference."

  34. 2009: 

    Liam Tancock after finishing fifth in the backstroke: "I went out there and gave it everything, it didn't quite come off for me but Rio is only four years away. I just love what I do, swimming is an amazing sport. It's an absolute dream to swim in a pool like this, in front of a crowd like this.

    "I was walking before and saw the poster about inspiring future generations and I hope we are doing that, not just me but the whole of team GB, hopefully we will inspire the next generation of swimmers."

  35. 2008:  
    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    On the 100m Backstroke final: "Grevers did well to manage the expectation, the pressure and the very partisan home crowd who absolutely didn't want him to win. Tancock maybe got over excited, I don't know but it would be interesting to see what he says about his swim."

  36. 2007:  
    Nick Hope, BBC Sport

    Thoughts go out to GB's Gemma Spofforth who was fourth in Beijing and competing in her last competition before retirement finishes in fifth - 0.40 seconds from a bronze medal. She lost her funding last year after finish outside of the world's top 16 at the World Championships and has admitted considering suicide in the past.

    Spofforth's battled back from real lows and to reach the Olympic final is an incredible achievement after what she has been through, but this was her 'big' send off and although she still has a relay event later in the week, this result will hurt.

  37. 2003: 

    An excellent start from 50m backstroke specialist Tancock who was in third spot after the turn but the Briton runs out of steam and swims home in fifth spot in 53.35. The Brit had no hope of catching the behemoth Matt Grevers who won in an Olympic record time of 52.16. Nick Thoman completes an American one-two with Japan's Ryosuke Irie in bronze position.

    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    Speaking after the women's 100m backstroke final: "Spofforth worked very hard in the last 25 metres but just didn't have enough in the last five to put any pressure on the leaders."

  39. 2001: 

    Another final and another Brit in action and this time it's 27-year-old Liam Tancock, who has been doing a spot of ballet as part of his training. Good for the footwork and hand placement apparently. Caitlin McClatchey admitted she was more worried about watching partner Tancock in action in the men's 100m backstroke final because she "has no control over that event". We're all a little nervous to be honest, seconds to go...


    Gemma Spofforth after finishing fifth in the 100m backstroke final: "I've always said it's the journey and not the destination. I am disappointed but everything happens for a reason and I am just really enjoying my swimming right now.

    "I have been rock-bottom but it's great to be back enjoying life again and have my passion back for life and swimming. Training with Ryan [Lochte] and working with Olympians is what really inspires me and I work with children back at home and want to inspire them."

  41. 1959: 

    Robbie Renwick after finishing sixth in the 200m Freestyle one better than he swam in 2008: "If I can keep going the way I am going then who knows maybe in the next four years I could actually get a medal. It all went well, it was another PB for me. It's all about getting amongst the medals but sixth place I can't have done much more."

  42. 1956: 

    Australia's Emily Seebohm led at the turn but Missy Franklin, as if she had propellers attached to her ankles - and just 20 minutes after qualifying for the 200m women's freestyle final - overtakes her rivals to win the women's 100m backstroke in 58.33. Silver goes to Seebohm while Japan's Aye Terakawa takes the bronze. A splendid swim from Spofforth who finished fifth in 59.20.

  43. 1954: 

    "Oh my goodness me," says Adrian Moorhouse of the reception Spofforth receives as she is introduced to the vocal crowd. Deep breaths from the Brit, wearing a red cap in lane seven, before she dives into the Olympic pool. We're underway...

  44. 1953: 

    Mark Spofforth speaking ahead of daughter Gemma's final: "I think it's been more a mental comeback than a physical one. When her mum died before the last Olympics it gave her a reason to carry on but when the grief subsided she needed another reason and she found her focus again.

    "I think she might carry on for the Commonwealth games, she said she won't think about it until after this. She will have a break and then make a decision, it's been a long time. It was 12 years ago that David Wilkie showed her his gold medal and she was inspired."

  45. 1952:  
    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    Speaking after watching Yannick Agnel win the 200m Freestyle: "I hope the French President is still here and he will be delighted with that. Agnel is head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the field. To win by that distance doesn't happen often especially in this event. That's two medals for him now which is a fantastic achievement."

  46. 1948: 

    France's Yannick Agnel motors away like a speedboat in the first 100m and the Frenchman manages to maintain his pace to win by a full body length in a time of 1:43.14. Clear water between the whippet-like Agnel and Yang Sun and Taehwan Park, who shared silver in 1:43.93. Lochte finished fourth with a solid performance from Renwick in sixth.

  47. 1946: 

    Would you believe it - ear-splitting noise at the pool as Robbie Renwick appears. The Briton comfortably the winner when it comes to support. "Robbie! Robbie! Robbie!" chant the crowd and they're on their marks for the men's 200m freestyle final...

  48. 1944: 

    Caitlin McClatchey on reaching the final: "I could hear the crowd the whole way through, it was incredible. I have had a really tough two years and thought about quitting but I am really enjoying it now. I have got a fantastic team at Loughborough University and without them I couldn't have done it."

  49. 1943:  
    Adrian Moorhouse, Olympic swimming gold medallist and BBC pundit

    On the second of the women's 200m freestyle semi-finals: "It's a good enough swim, Pellegrini just edged it but McClatchey has put herself in a great position going into the final. Missy is going to have to go away now, try to refocus and get ready for her women's 100m backstroke final. She has done enough but she was keeping her energy back for the final."

  50. 1941: 

    Britain's McClatchey was second at the halfway mark and upped the tempo to turn home in first position to ear-splitting roars from the home crowd. The Brit was eventually overtaken by world champion Pellegrini, though, who touched home in 1:56.67 but still qualified in sixth with a time of 1:57.33. Missy Franklin makes the final in eighth spot.

  51. 1938: 

    Warm cheers for Missy Franklin as she appears but not as loud as the raucous roar which greets Britain's Caitlin McClatchey. The Briton starts in lane six and faces a tough task to qualify with the likes of Franklin and world record holder Federica Pellegrini in the line up.

  52. 1936: 

    France's Muffat led Schmitt at the first turn and it was an advantage the Frenchwoman did not relinquish until she eased up in the final few meters. First to touch home in the 200m freestyle was Australia's Bronte Barratt in 1:56.08, followed by Schmitt in second in 1:56.15 and Muffat in third in 1:56.18.

  53. 1934: 

    The first of the evening's semi-final in the women's 200m freestyle is about to take place with Allison Schmitt of American and Veronika Popova of Russia in the middle lanes and expected to pose a quick time, although watch out for France's Camille Muffat.

  54. 1931:  
    Mark Foster, Five-time Olympian and BBC analyst

    "The momentum has started. It doesn't take one person to start it, but when I saw Becky win a medal last night you saw just how much of a buzz Liam Tancock got from that."

  55. 1930: 

    Gemma Spofforth is the other Brit hoping to head back to the athletes' village with a medal in her grasp. The Florida-based Brit competes in the women's 100m backstroke, where Spofforth will go stroke-to-stroke against 17-year-old American Missy Franklin and Australia's Emily Seebohm, who upstaged Franklin by qualifying fastest for the final 0.11 seconds outside the world record set by Spofforth in 2009.


    Robin Adam Spencer on Twitter: "Hmmmmm..... Olympic Swimming Finals or Rugby League Wakefield v Leeds?? #ToughChoice ..... or both at the same time?"

  57. 1920: 

    Liam Tancock, a two-time 50m backstroke world champion and world record holder, is another in action and arguably the 27-year-old has the best chance of the British trio to step onto the podium. Tancock, though, believes any of the eight swimmers could win his race. The Brit qualified third fastest overall with American Matt Grevers and world champion Camille Lacourt setting the pace.

    "I've genuinely got no expectations at all," said Tancock. "The winner could come from any of the eight lanes so I'm not going to make predictions. I'm in a position now where anything can happen, it's so tight."

  58. 1915: 

    Renwick produced his quickest time in three years with a semi-final swim of 1:46.65 to qualify for his second 200m freestyle Olympic final, but was still 0.34 seconds behind "this is my time" Ryan Lochte and half a second behind Paul Biedermann of Germany.

    If you wanted a list of the who's who of freestyle swimming then tonight's line-up in the 200m is it. World champion Lochte - who has converted a bedroom in his home into a walk-in closet to accommodate his 130 pairs of shoes - starts in lane two while the others to keep an eye out for are China's Sun Yang (lane four), France's Yannick Angel (lane five) and Biedermann (lane six).

    The quickest qualifying time was posted by China's Sun Yang, a 1500m specialist by trade, as he completed four lengths in 1:45.61. He was followed by France's Yannick Angel (1:45.84) and South Korea's Tae-hwan Park (1:46.02).

  59. 1907: 

    A very good evening to you! There's a spine-tingling atmosphere at the Aquatics Centre which suggests something special could happen tonight, and I'm not just saying that for hyperbole (ok, maybe a little bit but it's the Olympics I can't help it). There are four finals taking place at the cacophonous swimming pool, with three Brits hoping to add to Team GB's medal tally.

    Robbie Renwick will be the first Brit to make an appearance in a final as he competes in the men's 200m freestyle (19:41 BST) and will be followed by Gemma Spofforth in the women's 100m backstroke (19:49) and Liam Tancock in the men's 100m backstroke (19:56).

  60. 1900: 

    Every four years it seems a swimmer enters our consciousness and captures our hearts. Rebecca Adlington, Ian Thorpe, Duncan Goodhew, Mark Spitz… could Ryan Lochte, a man who has already posed topless for the front cover of Vogue, be the next to be added to that list or will it be China's Ye Shiwen, a sweet 16-year-old schoolgirl with the killer instinct of a great white once she enters the water.

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