Davenport looks on the bright side

PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM - Swimming - British Swimming Championships 2012 (Olympic Selection Trials) - Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London, England - 04/03/12 - Ross Davenport competes in the Men's 200m Freestyle Heats.
PICTURE BY VAUGHN RIDLEY/SWPIX.COM - Swimming - British Swimming Championships 2012 (Olympic Selection Trials) - Aquatics Centre, Olympic Park, London, England - 04/03/12 - Ross Davenport competes in the Men's 200m Freestyle Heats.
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BELPER’S Ross Davenport did his best to look on the bright side of life after missing out on an individual berth for the London 2012 Olympics.

Davenport needed a top-two finish at the British Gas Swimming Championships in the 200m freestyle, but failed to match his own expectations, settling for fourth in a time of 1:48.04.

An exciting final in front of a capacity crowd at the London 2012 Aquatics Centre saw Davenport do battle with European Junior champion Robert Bale, reigning Commonwealth champion Robbie Renwick and former Commonwealth champion David Carry.

It was Scotland’s Renwick who took the honours touching home in 1:47.33 with teenage Welsh star Ieuan Lloyd in second and Bale third, with Carry a distant sixth.

The silver lining for Davenport is a place in the relay squad, and a second Olympic Games for his CV, but while the Derbyshire star forced a smile his frustration was clear to see.

“I’m disappointed with coming fourth and the time. I know there is so much more in there,” said Davenport.

“But I’ve qualified for my third Olympic Games in the relay but I would have loved the individual but going to my third Games is quite a massive consolation prize.

“I’m gutted but relieved at the same time. I don’t know what the plan is now, but I know I’m a lot better than that. Whatever happens I am coming back here in four months so I’m gutted but over the moon. It is a funny scenario.

“But I will look back on it with disappointment. I felt good all the way through but it is one of those things where you have been beaten by three better guys, I couldn’t have done much more.

“I probably left too much to do in the last leg and you can’t do it against quality guys.”

Davenport, who won double Commonwealth gold six years ago in Melbourne, will now focus his attention on his next big domestic meet, the ASA Nationals in Sheffield this summer.

The Belper ace could yet claim an individual berth should he win in the Steel City and duck under the qualifying standard, but while that is still a slim possibility the 27-year-old admitted it was probably time to refocus his mind and show he is a team player.

“It won’t affect my preparation in Sheffield, but I’ll probably just focus on the relay now. It’s one of those things where you sacrifice your own goals for the good of the team so we’ll wait and see,” he added.

Davenport also finished fifth in the 100m freestyle final and admitted he was pleased to have ended his outings at the Olympic Aquatics Centre on that note and give himself a chance of being involved in two relays at London 2012.

“There’s potentially a place on that 4x100 relay,” he added.

“I love being part of a relay team, for me if there was the option of winning a gold medal as part of a relay or as an individual it would be the relay every time.

“There’s no better feeling than standing on the podium with three of your great mates to share the moment with.”

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