Molly Renshaw was left scratching around for the positives after settling for silver at the British Gas Swimming Championships and seeing her hopes of a trip to Barcelona go up in smoke.
The 17-year-old, from Selston, had high hopes of taking victory in the 200m breaststroke at Sheffield’s Ponds Forge, having qualified for the final fastest, but could only touch home second in 2:27.21 minutes.
Renshaw, the current European junior champion in the event, succumbed to Stacey Tadd at the end of a thrilling duel and was 0.9 seconds outside the qualifying time for the World Championships in Barcelona.
She could take some solace in the fact that her performance in Sheffield was a season’s best time, but having failed to book her place on the plane to Catalonia, and missed out on the top of the podium, she cut a forlorn figure.
“Obviously I’m gutted to miss out on the time but it’s the fastest I’ve gone all season so I can’t really complain about that so I guess that’s the positive,” said Renshaw.
“It was close at the end but she pushed me all the way and she just got me at the end.
“Judging by training, I should really have swum a bit faster than that so to be honest it is disappointing but I just have to get on with things.
“The week hasn’t gone as I would have hoped, I wanted to get a faster time in the 200m but I did get a season’s best which is a small positive.”
Renshaw’s failure to reach the World Championships will come as a bitter blow, having qualified for the last edition of the tournament in Shanghai in 2011 – aged just 15.
Last year she missed out on qualification for London 2012 by just 0.83 seconds however and having been unsuccessful with an appeal against the decision to omit her.
She did put her Olympic disappointment behind her, bouncing back to seal European junior gold and it will be age group level that she now turns her attentions to.
With no trip to Barcelona on the horizon, Renshaw will head to the World Junior Championships in Dubai – provided she makes the team – with the National Championships also on the horizon.
It will be her last chance to reach the podium at junior level and she’s determined to channel her disappointment by fighting her way onto the podium.
“It’s disappointing to have made it before to the World Championships and then to miss out this time, that makes it difficult to take,” she added.
“It’s towards nationals now I guess and the world juniors in Dubai if I can get myself selected.
“It’s my last chance at this age group so it would be great to go there, go out on a high and try and get a medal.
This year British Gas is launching SwimBritain, a programme to create a healthier nation and get 500,000 people swimming more regularly by 2015. Visit www.swimbritain.co.uk/challenge.
Picture by Martin Rickett/PA Wire