Swimmer Walker-Hebborn crashes out in Shanghai

SUFFOLK swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn insists there’s no need to push the panic button despite crashing out of the 200m backstroke heats at the World Championships in Shanghai.

SWIMMING: Chris Walker-Hebborn insists there’s no need to push the panic button despite crashing out of the 200m backstroke heats at the World Championships in Shanghai.

Walker-Hebborn’s week got off to a difficult start when he missed out on a place in the 100m semi-finals on Monday but had the consolation of knowing his best event was yet to come.

It proved false hope for the 21-year-old though as he saw his campaign ended on Thursday morning after finishing 17th in the heats over double the distance.

Walker-Hebborn, from Bury St Edmunds, touched home in 1.58.59 seconds to finish one place and 0.11 secs short of making the semi-finals.


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The quadruple European junior champion, who trains in Ipswich, admitted he failed to match up to the best in the business in China but claimed there was no need to head back to the drawing board.

“I’m a bit disappointed obviously but that is the best heat swim in a morning I have ever done so I can’t complain.

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“It is just everyone has stepped their game up and I got the short straw so hopefully it will be better luck next time I guess. “I just need to get my head down and not necessarily reassess because as far as I am concerned as morning swims go it was not bad but it just wasn’t enough.”

It was the second time in the space of four days Walker-Hebborn had exited in the heats, with Scott Clary leading the field through to the last 16 in 1.56.32 secs.

And after refusing to put it down to coincidence Walker-Hebborn admitted he must be ready to race from the off if he is to avoid a repeat of his Shanghai heartache at next summer’s Olympics.

“There are a lot of people stepping their game up in the morning and I tried to step my game up and thought I had made it but I’ve fallen short again,” added Walker-Hebborn.

“It is a different mentality and a different approach to what I am used to and we have to approach every event as if it is a final because there is no messing about and I just fell short.”

British Gas is supporting the British Gas GBR Swimming Team to win more gold medals, as part of its partnership with the sport at all levels. For more information visit www.britishgas.co.uk/swimming

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