University of Bath-based swimmer Chris Walker-Hebborn was a fine fifth in Tuesday’s 100m backstroke final at the FINA World Championships in Kazan, Russia.
The Commonwealth and European champion had qualified eighth-fastest from Monday’s semi-finals but saved his best swim for when it mattered and was just four-tenths of a second away from a podium place.
His time of 53.02 was just outside his personal best and Walker-Hebborn, coached by Dave McNulty and Graeme Antwhistle at the British Swimming National Centre Bath, said he was happy with his top-five placing.
“That is the second quickest I have ever been and, considering how the last two rounds went, I am really pleased with that,” he said.
Gold went to Australia’s Mitchell Larkin in 52.40, ahead of Camille Lacourt of France (52.48) and Matt Grevers of the USA (52.66).
Walker-Hebborn was the quickest of the two Brits in the final, with Liam Tancock eighth in 53:37, meaning he will line up in what looks to be a very strong 4x100m relay squad.
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, fresh from winning Britain’s first-ever medal in the women’s 200m individual medley on Monday, narrowly missed out on a place in the 200m freestyle final.
She was just three-hundredths of a second off the lead at the halfway mark of her semi-final but tired in the closing 50m and came sixth in 1:57.30, placing her tenth overall.
O’Connor also has the relays to look forward to later this week.
The World Championships continue on Wednesday morning, with Sports Performance graduate Calum Jarvis competing in the 100m freestyle heats.