Olympics swimming: All or nothing for Rotherham’s Joe Roebuck

Great Britain's Joe Roebuck competes in the Men's 200m Butterfly Heats at the Aquatics Centre. Tony Marshall/PA Wire.
Great Britain's Joe Roebuck competes in the Men's 200m Butterfly Heats at the Aquatics Centre. Tony Marshall/PA Wire.
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ROTHERHAM’S Joe Roebuck insists it’s all or nothing now as his three-pronged assault on the Olympic Games comes down to one last race.

Roebuck is one of the busiest British swimmers at the Games but after failing to progress beyond the heats of the 400m medley and yesterday’s 200m butterfly, he vowed to get it right in his signature event.

Roebuck believes the 200m medley represents his best chance of making an impression at London 2012, although cracking the podium might be a bit of an ask considering the likes of Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Laszlo Cseh will be heavily involved in the medal shake-up.

But Roebuck’s time at the Olympic trials earlier this year ranks him eighth in the world and reaching the final is his key ambition.

“I don’t really know what has happened but it’s not gone quite right this week,” he said. “There isn’t any problem or issue, it’s just not happening for me and sometimes it goes like that, you just want to avoid it happening at the Olympics.

“I’ve not issue with the schedule and I’ve got a couple of days rest now before the 200m medley and I’ve always considered that my main event.

“I really believe I can back stronger and there is no reason why I can’t.”

Roebuck nearly progressed to the semi-finals of the 200m butterfly, but missed out on the top 16 by just two hundredths of a second - as did fellow Rotherham swimmer Rebecca Turner in the women’s 200m freestyle - finishing 17th fastest in qualifying.

He clocked 1.56.99 - slower than his winning time at the recent Olympic trials - and admitted it wasn’t good enough.

“I’m very disappointed with my time,” added Roebuck, who will now sit down with coach Ian Armiger to discuss tactics for his final shot at a peak-time race.

“I wanted to go quicker, I wanted to get in that pool and swim a personal best at the Olympics and I thought I was in the shape to do that.

“I’ve missed a bit of training with an illness but I’m not going to excuse that as an excuse because no athlete has a perfect build-up to a major championships.”

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