Sunday, August 10, 2008

Gangloff finishes eighth in his best event

Charlotte's Mark Gangloff fell short of his dream Sunday night (Charlotte time) in the 100-meter breaststroke, finishing in eighth and last place in the final of his specialty event.

I just talked to Gangloff here in Beijing -- he was still dripping wet from the pool -- and he sounded more upbeat than you might expect.

“My best just wasn’t good enough today,” Gangloff said. “That was the fastest field in history for this event.” The gold medal was won by Japan's Kosuke Kitajima, who set a world record at 58.91 seconds. Gangloff swam the event in 1:00.24.

Gangloff had qualified seventh-fastest for the eight-man final, which earned him an unfavorable lane. He raced from Lane 1, which like Lane 8 receives more turbulence from other swimmers than the middle lanes.

After the first 50 meters, Gangloff was fifth. But he lost some momentum late.

“My stroke felt pretty good in the first 50,” Gangloff said, “but I faded a little bit in the last 10-15 meters. I was actually pretty happy with my time – I got faster in every race here – but it just wasn’t enough.”

Gangloff still has a medley relay to swim in the Olympics, and in that he will have a very good chance at some sort of medal.

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