Liam Tancock ready for backstroke final but says it is an 'open event'

 

Liam Tancock is fully prepared for tonight's 100m backstroke final but says that any of the eight swimmers could win the event.

Tancock finished second behind world champion Camille Lacourt, of France, in last night’s opening semi-final and qualified third fastest overall with American Matt Grevers setting the pace.

Despite putting himself in medal contention, Tancock, the 50metre backstroke world champion, insisted: “I’ve genuinely got no expectations at all. The 100m backstroke is such an open event, the winner could come from any of the eight lanes so I’m not going to make predictions.”

The semi-final, though, showed the progress the 27-year-old has made in the event. An explosive swimmer over the 50m, which is not an Olympic event, he has tended to tire in races and finish just out of medal contention.

He was sixth in the event at the last Olympics, a result he matched at last year’s World Championships but goes into the final as a strong medal ­candidate.

“I’m in a position now where anything can happen, it’s so tight,” added Tancock, who has been one of our Standard Bearer columnists. “So it’s not about me setting a medal target or saying what time I’ll do.”

Tancock’s heat was the first race after Rebecca Adlington won bronze in the 400m freestyle and he admitted he had been inspired by the Beijing double gold medallist.

Such sentiments were echoed by Gemma Spofforth, who will line up in the women’s 100m backstroke tonight with the sixth-fastest time from the semi-finals.

“I was so happy for Becky,” she said. “It lifted me up, it was such an inspiration — two golds for her and now a bronze.”

Spofforth, the world record holder and a former world champion in the event, has finetuned her preparations for the Olympics alongside Ryan Lochte, who narrowly missed out on another gold in the 4x100m freestyle but eased into tonight’s final of the 200m freestyle.

 “Ryan is such an amazing person and so passionate with it,” said Spofforth. “He’s an inspiration to train with.”

While Lochte is already among the swimming stars of these Games after a superb 2012, Spofforth has had a difficult year and, in the build-up to the Olympic trials, admitted she found it hard to retain her enthusiasm.

“I’ve struggled the whole year,” she said. “I had a lot of doubt and the confidence was knocked out of me. And as long as I enjoy it, I’ll be happy.”

Spofforth has struggled with her consistency in the past and, as a result refused to set any goals for herself going into the final.

“Tonight I’m just excited about what I do here,” said Spofforth, who finished fourth in Beijing, missing out on a medal by four one hundredths of a second. “I felt a lot better in the water and I can be back to where I was.

“It’s been quite a special journey for the last few years. The process and the journey are more important than the outcome. There were a lot of things that I corrected. I was overthinking the race and there’s still little bits to play with for the final.”

Britain’s other finalist on day three in the pool is Robbie Renwick, who takes part in the first of the evening’s finals, the men’s 200m freestyle.

He will be up against Lochte and China’s Sun Yang, both of whom already boast a gold medal to their name from these Games.

After missing out on a place in the 400m freestyle final, Renwick is determined to make amends tonight.

“I’m not happy to come last,” he said. “I want to get in there and win medals. So it’s fantastic to make this final. Once you’re in there, anything can ­happen. I’m really looking forward to it and another drop of a second is well within my ability.”

Tonight’s final of the women’s 100m breaststroke sees Australian Leisel Jones bidding to become the first swimmer to win medals at four consecutive Games. The defending champion was criticised in sections of the Australian media last week for arriving at the Games overweight.

“I’ve had my doubters,” said the 26-year-old. “Having the odds stacked against you is really tough but you have to believe in yourself under those circumstances is even harder.”

Watch Liam in tonight’s 100m backstroke final at 7.58pm (BBC1)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
health
News
science
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
News
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
News
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
i100
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Sport
football
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power