Olympics: Boyle fourth in 800m final

By David Leggat

Lauren Boyle finished fourth in the 800m final. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Lauren Boyle finished fourth in the 800m final. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Freestyle swimmer Lauren Boyle has capped off a fine personal Olympics with a fourth placing and another national record, in the 800m final at the Aquatic Centre in London.

Boyle, who made the 400m freestyle final earlier in the week, had broken her old national mark in qualifying for the final. She then chomped another three seconds off it in the final, recording 8min 22.72 seconds.

She came home with some punch too. Having been fourth for much of the journey, Boyle, 24, slipped to fifth in the latter stages, before coming home solidly to edge out Dane Lotte Friis.

American Katie Ledecky won the final in 8:14.63, from Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia and British hope, defending champion Rebecca Adlington.

Adlington touched in 8:20.32, meaning Boyle missed a bronze by just over 2s after a gruelling race.

"I'm just so happy," Boyle said after the race, shaking with emotion.

"Coming into the Olympics I was so nervous. I would have been happy to get into the top 16. That's still an amazing achievement. To get into two finals and almost get a medal..."

She knew she needed a strong start in the final.

"After the heats I knew I had to go out a lot faster, so I just got I tonight and tried to go with it. I didn't give too much thought to how I was going and how much it hurt."

She had a decent break between her Thursday heat and this morning's final. She thinks that suits her.

"I like having more time to recover. It was nice.

"I get quite emotionally excited for races, so it was hard for me to come down in the middle of the day (as for the 400m final). Having an overnight was much nicer for me."

Boyle has been the stand-out performer in a distinctly ordinary New Zealand swim campaign. Now she's planning to press on for two more years then decide whether she wants to plot a third Olympic campaign in Rio in 2016.

First up there's a few days' holiday with an old school friend in Germany, then in a couple of weeks she will be back in the water, content with having showed her true qualities on the biggest stage.

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_a1 at 21 Sep 2014 13:20:02 Processing Time: 1196ms