Swimmer Caitlin McClatchey elated after boyfriend Liam Tancock's success in the pool


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The Independent Online

Caitlin McClatchey says she was excitedly cheering on her boyfriend Liam Tancock and team-mate Rebecca Adlington as she watched them in her flat in the Olympic village.

And the 26-year-old credited the pair for helping her to be the pick of the six British swimmers on a mixed morning for the hosts in the pool.

McClatchey, swimming in her third Olympics, fed off another raucous crowd more than any other Briton so far at these Games to produce a stunning final lap of the 200m freestyle and qualify for tonight’s semi-finals seventh fastest.

“I was jumping up and down in my flat cheering for Becky and the same with Liam,” she said. “There were some fantastic swims last night and I think everyone in the team is really buzzing off that.”

McClatchey made the final of the event at the last Games, in which she finished sixth, and said the aim tonight was to do the same.

“I’d love to make the final and I’d love to do a personal best,” she said. “But it’s a tough competition. The same girls in the 400m freestyle are in the 200m.”

While McClatchey impressed, many of her rivals struggled from the exertions of the previous night in the pool and she hopes that fatigue will continue to have a bearing for the opposition tonight. Of the crowd, the Scottish swimmer added: “They were brilliant. I’d heard them in the heat before and it was amazing. They get people to finals.”

The crowd effect failed to lift Rebecca Turner and Joe Roebuck in the 200m freestyle and 200m butterfly respectively, as they both missed out on the semi-finals by two hundredths of a second.

Roberto Pavoni could only manage the 20th fastest time in the 200m butterfly heats, while Sophie Allen, who had been targeting a spot in the 200m individual medley, failed to even make the final 16.

When asked what the problem was, Allen said: “Morning swims and getting my a*** into gear. I need to step my game up in the heats. I’ve always struggled in the heats. I was really disappointed with it. My main aim was to make the final and I’ve not even made the semi. I’m gutted.”

Hannah Miley was the only other British qualifier on the third day of heats, 10th fastest of the 16 who went through in the 200m individual medley. Of her swim, 3.37sec slower than the fastest qualifier alongside her in a neighbouring lane, Ye Shiwen, Miley said: “I’m happy. I take it every step and the next step is to improve on that. The aim is to make the final.”

The outcome of that final looks all too predictable, with Ye dominating the field while seeming to swim well within herself.