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SWIMMING: Gray explains US disappointment
6:00am Monday 20th August 2012 in Other Sport
TILLY Gray says several factors prevented her from performing at her best after she failed to advance beyond heats in two events at the US Nationals.
The ex-Swindon Dolphin swimmer, competing under the Welsh banner in Indianapolis, was seeded sixth in the 200m butterfly, but did not make the final.
And the same scenario occurred in the 100m fly, the event in which she won gold at the ASA Nationals in June.
However, the former Commonweal pupil and Loughborough University student believes she would have performed much better had her build-up been smoother.
“I'm not pleased with the results but I know it was down to a combination of things and that it doesn't reflect my capability in any way,” she said.
“I've never been to the US before and I've never had to race before 20 hours of travelling, and staying up for 23 hours to get in sync wasn't ideal - I wouldn't go to the Olympic trials and stay up for 23 hours the day before my race.
“Also there was only three weeks between ASA Nationals and US Nationals, and I wasn't able to come down in (the intensity of) training and then go up, then come down.
“The cycle is normally about two months to get ready for the next competition and it just wasn't ideal preparation at all.
“It wasn't just me that didn't do well, there were people that went plus 20 seconds on their PBs. On the Welsh and British teams, nobody did anything blinding.
“Everybody was kind of gutted with their performances because we wanted to end the season with a bang, and we didn't.”
The end result of the 200m fly was a particular annoyance for the 20-year-old, given that she considers it her favoured event.
“I struggled with jet lag and whatnot,” continued Gray.
“I did a time trial in the same event the next day and I went about three seconds quicker. It was just a shame I couldn't have done it in the previous race.
“I would have got in the final if I'd swum the time I did in the time trial, but it's just one of those things.”
Gray is currently taking a couple of weeks off for rest and recuperation, before hitting the pool for tough winter training.