Monday, 4 October 2010

Seebohm faces setback, won't be able to replicate Phelps

Emily Seebohm's quest for eight gold medals in the Commonwealth Games pool ended early with defeat to Australian teammate Alicia Coutts in the 200-meter individual medley, her first final of the games.

Coutts won in 2 minutes, 09.70 seconds Monday with Seebohm finishing in 2:10.83. Julia Wilkinson of Canada took the bronze in 2:12.09.

The race was missing Olympic gold medalist Stephanie Rice, who isn't competing in Delhi due to a shoulder injury.

In other finals, Kylie Palmer of Australia won the 200-meter freestyle, Ryan Cochrane of Canada the 400 freestyle and Chad Le Cos of South Africa the men's 200 butterfly. A men's 400-meter freestyle relay final was scheduled for later Monday.

Seebohm, who was attempting to match American Michael Phelps' feat of eight golds at a meet set at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, was fourth-fastest in the women's 50-meter butterfly semifinals Monday and will swim that final on Tuesday.

Palmer finished in 1 minute, 57.50 seconds, with Jazmin Carlin of Wales earning silver in 1:58.29 and Rebecca Adlington of England, the 400- and 800-meter Olympic champion, taking bronze in 1:58.47.

British royal Prince Charles, who officially opened the games on Sunday, attended the morning session while his youngest brother, Edward, attended the final events later in the day. Prince Edward presented the medals to the Palmer, Carlin and Adlington.

While some of the other venues reported sparse attendances, more than 1,000 clapped in unison to "Land Down Under" when Palmer walked off the pool deck with her gold medal.

Carlin is the first woman from Wales to claim a Commonwealth Games medal in swimming since Patricia Beavan won gold in the 200 breaststroke in 1974.

Adlington said she was surprised by her bronze.

"I definitely didn't expect this at all," she said. "I thought I'd get around maybe fourth or fifth so I'm very happy I got third place."

Two champions from the 2006 Melbourne Games failed to qualify for their finals on Monday morning - Moss Burmester of New Zealand in the 200-meter butterfly and Caitlin McClatchey of Scotland in the 200-meter freestyle.

Burmester was 10th-fastest in the heats of the 200-meter butterfly. McClatchey, the 200-meter freestyle Commonwealth record holder, was 17th.

"I'm really disappointed," she said. "I've had a very inconsistent training program, fitness has been a bit of a problem because I've had a bit of a chest infection. I've lost a little bit of confidence in myself."

Australian Nick D'Arcy's hard-luck story continued. D'Arcy, who was not allowed to compete for Australia at the Beijing Olympics after being convicted of assault in a barroom brawl with a former swimmer, was ninth-fastest in the men's 200 butterfly Monday and failed to advance.

"It's pretty tough," D'Arcy said. "I didn't go as well as I wanted. It's a big international event so it hurts."

D'Arcy's coach Brian Stehr said his swimmer was "a shadow of his former self."

"I really don't know what the problem was, but it's obviously another setback for Nick," Stehr said.


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