“I’m so happy!” – swimmer Jazz Carlin wins superb silver at Rio 2016 Olympic Games

08 August 2016

University of Bath-based swimmer Jazz Carlin admitted she was “gobsmacked” after smashing her lifetime best to win 400m freestyle silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Just ten minutes after seeing fellow swimmer Adam Peaty win Team GB’s first gold of the Games, Carlin produced a magnificent performance to finish runner-up to Katie Ledecky of the United States who set a new world record of 3:56.46.

Carlin came under pressure from another American, Leah Smith, in the closing 50m but was strong enough to hold her off and touch the wall in 4:01.23 – her best going into the Games was 4:03.24.

“It’s an incredible feeling and it’s definitely not sunk in yet,” said Carlin, who is coached by David McNulty and Graeme Antwhistle in the British Swimming National Centre at the University of Bath Sports Training Village.

“I wanted to come here and give it absolutely everything and have no regrets. Sometimes you swim and think I could have a bit left but I wanted to get myself into the race rather than always having to catch up and then absolutely go for it.

“I could see Katie was a bit in front and having a great swim so I just tried to hang on and am gobsmacked to come away with silver. I can’t believe the time as well, I’m so happy!”

Carlin – a Commonwealth champion and World and European medallist – was making her Olympic debut after missing out on London 2012 through a combination of glandular fever and tonsillitis.

“Four years ago I was sat in the stand cheering Team GB on but now I’m actually part of the team and to come away with a silver medal is absolutely amazing,” she added.

“I was in the pool room watching Adam and I had goose bumps on the block. To see someone who’s your team-mate achieve a new world record and become Olympic Champion right before you swim definitely got me pumped up.

“It’s been a great night for Team GB in the pool. We’ve got a great team here and hopefully we can keep the momentum up and inspire the rest of the team for the rest of the week.”

Coach Antwhistle said: “We are really pleased for Jazz and hopefully there is more to come from our swimmers in the next few days.”

Carlin is the second British Swimming National Centre swimmer to win an Olympic silver medal, emulating Michael Jamieson’s achievement in the 200m breaststroke at London 2012. She will have chance to add to her medal collection in the 800m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle relays this week.

Training partner Chris Walker-Hebborn narrowly missed out on a place in the men’s 100m backstroke final after finishing sixth in his semi-final in 53.75, putting him 11th-fastest overall.

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor starts her second Olympic campaign at 6.11pm BST on Monday in heat four of the women’s 200m individual medley.

Day four of the Olympic Games will also see University of Bath graduates Amy Wilson Hardy and Natasha Hunt challenge for medals in the women’s rugby sevens.

Both have been in sparkling, try-scoring form as Team GB topped their group with wins over Brazil, Japan and Canada before beating Fiji 26-7 in the quarter-finals.

They will now face New Zealand at 7pm BST on Monday, hoping to book their place in the gold-medal match at 11pm.

Fellow graduate Heather Stanning is also due to finally make her first appearance at Rio 2016, where she is defending her women’s pair title alongside Helen Glover.

Strong winds meant their heat, along with all the rowing, was cancelled on Sunday. Their race has now been rescheduled for 4.30pm BST on Monday.

Both Stanning and Glover came through the GB Rowing Team Start talent ID and development programme at the University of Bath and Minerva Bath RC, as did Vicky Thornley who has qualified for the semi-finals of the women’s double scull with defending champion Katherine Grainger. They were runners-up in their heat on Saturday.

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Picture by: Owen Humphreys / PA Wire/Press Association Images

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