Abbie Wood admitted it was “gutting” to agonisingly miss out on an Olympic medal in the women’s 200 metres individual medley final but she took solace from setting a new personal best in the discipline.
Wood was viewed as a contender to continue Team GB’s medal rush in the pool at Tokyo 2020 after qualifying second fastest in the semi-finals, but her time of two minutes and 9.15 seconds was only good enough for fourth.
The 22-year-old came into the last 50m in third before finishing just 11 hundredths of a second behind bronze medallist Kate Douglass, whose American compatriot Alex Walsh collected silver as Japan’s Yui Ohashi took gold.
“It’s just gutting,” Wood said. “It was such a close race and I knew it was going to be that way. It was who got to the wall first. It is bittersweet. I am happy with the time. I knew I couldn’t have done much more.
“If it was off my PB and I came fourth it would have been a lot worse. I did put myself out there and I’m glad I did. I felt I paced it just how I wanted to. It’s just sport I suppose.”
Wood, who came close to walking away from swimming four years ago after a disappointing showing at the World Championship in Budapest, now has her sights set on the women’s 200m breaststroke.
“I will put these frustrations into that and use this as a massive learning curve that the race isn’t over until it’s over,” she added.
“I was talked out of quitting in 2017 after my first worlds. I have really grown as a person since then. Just really grown up. You do have to remember moments like those to make these ones not feel as rough.”
Fellow Briton Alicia Wilson finished last in a time of 2mins 12.86secs.
James Wilby qualified second fastest for Thursday’s men’s 200m breaststroke final, recording a time of 2:07.91 in the semis, but Ross Murdoch will miss out after finishing joint fifth in his heat in 2:09.97.
Alys Thomas is into the women’s 200m butterfly final but Laura Stephens is out, while Jacob Whittle was unable to qualify for the men’s 100m freestyle final.