BELPER’S Ross Davenport suffered World Championship frustration on day two in Shanghai as he missed out on a final berth in the 200m freestyle.
The 27-year-old was eighth quickest in his morning qualification swim, clocking 1:47.59 minutes but was unable to improve on his opening performance and crashed out at the semi-final stage.
Davenport was tenth quickest across the semi-finals, stopping the clock at 1:47.76 minutes, with France’s Yannick Agnel and Germany’s Paul Biedermann quickest respectively.
With the legendary duo of Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps only progressing as third and fifth fastest for yesterday’s (Tuesday) final, it highlighted the size of the task facing Davenport.
And despite his early elimination, Davenport admitted he was pleased with his Shanghai showing.
“I’m reasonably pleased with that. It is relatively difficult for us to make the semi-finals these days,” said Davenport. “It is a really tough event and it has moved on dramatically over the last three years.
“We’re not in the position where we can relax and back off in the heats and rest for the semi-finals, we have to go 100 per cents, all guns blazing and use all the tools and all the experience just to make the semi-finals.
“It is really difficult then to return and go on again and then reach the final. I would have loved to have gone quicker in the semi-final and as it was it wasn’t as quick as I thought it would be to make the final.
“I was pleased with the way I swam this week and my teammate Robbie (Renwick) did well as well so it looks like we’ve got a strong 4x200m freestyle relay team.”
Davenport qualified for his fourth World Championships back in March, upsetting recently crowned Commonwealth 200m freestyle champion Renwick on the way to a fourth British title.
Davenport’s trip to the Far East is his second in three years. He was part of the British team for the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and it is his 12th major international appearance since his senior debut in 2003.
But after getting up close and personal with the world’s best, including Phelps and Lochte, Davenport revealed competing on a global stage is tougher than it has ever been previously.
“You can throw a net over those guys in the final and anyone of those could get a medal,” added Davenport.
“Normally you would say Phelps would go on and walk it but he didn’t make the final by a great deal and there is some quality, quality swimmers in there.”
Speaking on Monday, he said: “There’s nobody missing in that final, with perhaps the exception of Ian Thorpe, if he’s going to get down with competing with those guys time will tell, and we’re only a couple of tenths from making that final. We almost had two Brits in that final so I think we did very well and we can see it as an added incentive.”
• British Gas is supporting the British Gas GBR Swimming Team to win more gold medals, as part of its partnership with the sport at all levels. For more information visit www.britishgas.co.uk/swimming