London 2012: Olympic dream over as Chris fails in pool

LONDON LOW: Chris Walker-Hebborn,pictured in action during his disappointing 200m backstroke heat at London 2012, Tweeted 'support is great'. Pi cture: Swpix
LONDON LOW: Chris Walker-Hebborn,pictured in action during his disappointing 200m backstroke heat at London 2012, Tweeted 'support is great'. Pi cture: Swpix

CHRIS Walker-Hebborn admitted he only had himself to blame after he failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the 200m backstroke at London 2012.

The 22-year-old was making his second outing in the pool on Wednesday after failing to progress in the shorter 100m distance over the weekend.

The 200m is the preferred event for the former multiple European junior champion, but he continued to struggle, finishing eighth in his heat.

His time of 1.59.00 was almost three seconds slower than his personal best and almost a second behind the 16th and final qualifier, Leonardo Deus, of Brazil.

Walker-Hebborn failed to qualify for the Games at the first Olympic trials in March, meaning he was forced to earn his 100m and 200m selections at the ASA Nationals in June.

He admitted his failure to qualify in the earlier trials, held at the Olympic Aquatics Centre, had been his downfall in the end.

“It’s very disappointing,” he said. “I was feeling really good in the morning, but it hurt a lot out there and I have ended up with quite an average time.

“Doing the double is hard to perfect, but this is just what comes with qualifying at the second trials, so it’s my own fault really and I can’t complain.

“I’m going to take a break now, then come back and try again. I couldn’t be happier to be here at an Olympics – that was always the dream.”

This result marks the end of Walker-Hebborn’s debut Olympics, a disappointing return for the man who won his first British title in 2009.

But, rather than lick his wounds after a disappointing first ever Games, the backstroke specialist insists he will return stronger for the experience next season.

“I never had any real expectations,” he added. “It was just a case of let it happen and put it all down to experience.

“So I’ll take the positives and crack on into next season.

“I’m going to stay here and enjoy the meet and I’ll be screaming on the rest of the team as loud as I can.”

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