Max Litchfield: former Sheffield Hallam student misses out on medal at Tokyo Olympics

Swimmer and former Sheffield student Max Litchfield fell just short of a medal at Tokyo after he finished fourth in the 400m individual medley final for the second Olympics in a row.

By Steve Jones
Sunday, 25th July 2021, 10:54 am

The 26-year-old, who studied physiotherapy at Sheffield Hallam University from 2013 to 2018 while training at Ponds Forge, was 0.21 seconds away from becoming the first Brit to earn a podium place at the 2020 Games on Sunday.

Litchfield finished in four minutes 10.59 seconds – more than a second faster than his Rio 2016 time – along with Hungarian David Verraszto.

Chase Kalisz of the USA won gold with a time of four minutes 9.42 seconds with his compatriot Jay Litherland (4:10.28) second and Australia's Brendon Smith in third (4:10.38).

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Max Litchfield finished fourth in the men’s 400m individual medley final for the second Olympics in a row.

Speaking after just missing out, Litchfield, now based in Loughborough, said: "I knew Jay was going to be in the mix, I knew if I stayed with him I would be there.

"But I just couldn't find it in the end. But I have got more years in me and it is a step in the right direction.

"That's sport at times you fall short, that's life, sometimes you don't fall the right side of it."

Litchfield finished in four minutes 11.62 seconds at Rio – just under two seconds away from a medal.

His younger brother Joe will compete in the Men's 4x100m freestyle relay heats today (Sunday).

Coventry judoka Chelsie Giles claimed Great Britain’s first medal of the Tokyo Olympics, winning bronze after defeating Switzerland’s Fabienne Kocher in the women’s -52kg repechage.