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Mixed emotions for Gandy in pool
4:29pm Tuesday 7th August 2012 in Sport
BROMLEY’S Ellen Gandy admits the backing of the vociferous 17,500 crowd in the Aquatic Centre has been as much a curse as it has been a blessing for Team GB at London 2012.
Gandy along with Fran Halsall, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Gemma Spofforth rounded off Team GB’s campaign in the pool by finishing last in the medley final on Saturday night, won by the United States in a world record time.
The return of one silver and two bronze medals was below the expectations of a public used to success after Rebecca Adlington’s double gold in Beijing.
And while there was no lack of encouragement for any British swimmer, 20-year-old Gandi echoed Adlington’s argument that too much pressure was placed on Team GB to match their Beijing heroics.
She said: “I don’t think you should judge us solely on medals.
“We have made more finals here than we ever have before and that’s something to be really proud of.
“It is tough swimming in front of such a home crowd, it is also a blessing because they give you such support, but it is also a curse in a way because there’s a lot more expectation and pressure on you.
“It is not something you can prepare for because no experience is like walking out to that.
“We did the best we could and hopefully that will make Britain proud.
“It was amazing and luckily I had a couple of races before so I knew what to expect. I have never seen a crowd like it before.”
Unfortunately the British quartet were not able to bow out on a high in the medley relay.
Although Spofforth’s backstroke leg put them in fifth position, they fell away on the breaststroke and never recovered the ground eventually finishing last in a time of 3:59.46minutes, more than seven seconds benhind the United States.
But although the meet may have ended on a downer, Gandy is adamant that, with the likes of 16-year-old teammates O’Connor still approaching their peak, all was not lost for British swimming despite the lowly medal tally.
“It is massively important for us as an experience,” she added. “16 is still very young and for many of us it was our first Olympic Games.
“It is hard to explain the Olympic Games why it is so different to all other competitions to people who have not experienced it.
“Because our team is so young then hopefully the majority of this team will go onto Rio and this will be hugely beneficial.”
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