Fortunes fade for Pavoni

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 August 2013

Simon Wilkinson -

No luck for Brentwood swimmer in Spain

Roberto Pavoni readily admits lady luck smiled on him two years ago in Shanghai but his fortunes faded somewhat at the latest World Swimming Championships in Spain, writes Jamie Holt.

Fine margins allowed Harold Wood-born Pavoni to make the 400m medley final in China by five hundredths of a second but at Barcelona’s Palau Sant Jordi he finished nine hundredths the wrong side of the top eight.

The 22-year-old was in contention with just the freestyle leg to go but the Brentwood flyer faded over final two lengths and clocked 4:15.90 minutes for fourth in his heat and ninth overall.

It suggests regression but Pavoni insists he knows only too well how fine the line between success and failure is at the World Championships, which follow the year before and after the Olympics.

“I was lucky last time to get into the final, I didn’t do a great heat and the times were pretty slow to get through,” said Pavoni, who finished 13th in the 400m medley at London 2012.

“I made it by 0.05seconds last time but after doing that and with the experience of London behind me I was very much looking to progress.

“I’m very disappointed, gutted to be honest, I really wanted to be in that final, I certainly didn’t want to swim that sort of time but I gave it everything.

“Up to 300m I was fine, but for the freestyle I had nothing left which is very unlike me. I had no legs in the last 50m, which is what you need the most.

“I could see the other guys in front and normally even if I’ve got nothing I’m still trying to catch up but I couldn’t do anything.”

It was a busy week for Pavoni with the Brentwood swimmer having already secured two semi-finals in the 200m butterfly and 200m medley before wrapping his meet up.

But he refused to blame his schedule for not making the 400m medley medal showdown.

“I had three days off to recover and I did well in training since the 200m medley,” added Pavoni. “I’m very disappointed but at least I did give it my all.

“There was nothing left in the tank and in my mind I know I left everything in the pool. My aim coming in was just to make the semi in the fly and the semi in the 200m medley and I did both of those.”

● Britain’s athletes are funded by UK Sport as the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for the strategic investment of £355million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding in Olympic and Paralympic sports preparing for Rio 2016. The ambition is to win more medals than in London 2012 while building a stronger more sustainable high performance system.

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