Rio 2016: UEL’s Willmott seventh in swimming final
- Credit: PA WIRE
World record broken in 400m medley
University of East London’s Aimee Willmott finished seventh in the final of the women’s 400m individual medley on day one of the Rio Olympics.
The 23-year-old qualified for the final after finishing second in her heat, and fifth fastest overall, in a time of four minutes 34.08secs.
But she could only manage 4.35.04 in the final, as Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu won gold in a new world record of 4.26.36 and Willmott’s Team GB team-mate Hannah Miley finished fourth in 4.32.54, just 0.15 off a bronze medal.
“At the World Championships and Commonwealth Games since London 2012 I have been putting pressure on myself and expecting myself to swim well,” said Willmott.
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“You never know what’s going to happen at an Olympic Games. Every time I worry about a swim it tends not to go too well.
“My parents have flown all the way out here to watch. They were in the far corner of the stands so I could see them as I walked out.
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“I’m happy with the (heat) time, it’s a season’s best. It’s the fastest I’ve been since the trials 18 months ago. It’s all I could really ask for.
“I love competing on day one. Max [Lichfield] went [in the first race] so I sat in the stands and watched that. If he can do it in his first Olympics with all that pressure, then I had to give it everything.”
Willmott returns to the pool on Tuesday to compete in the 200m butterfly heats.