Spofforth battles to fifth in Olympic final

Gemma Spofforth finished fifth in the 100m backstroke final
Gemma Spofforth finished fifth in the 100m backstroke final
Kate Steels-Fryatt in action  Picture: Terry Scott

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Gemma Spofforth showed plenty of fight to secure a fifth-placed finish in the final of the Olympic 100m backstroke final tonight.

The Portsmouth Northsea ace was among the contenders for a medal at London’s Aquatic Centre.

But, despite a fine start from lane seven, she could not gain a podium place.

Spofforth finished in a time of 59.20sec in a race won by America’s Missy Franklin (58.33).

Former Portsmouth High School pupil Spofforth was delighedjust to make it to London 2012 after a difficult few years, which included the death of her mother from cancer.

And despite missing out on a medal, the 100m world record holder was proud of her performance.

Spofforth said: ‘I wanted a medal so I’m a bit disappointed.

‘I’ve always said it’s the journey and not the destination. Everything happens for a reason and I am just really enjoying my swimming right now.

‘I have been rock-bottom but it’s great to be back enjoying life again and have my passion back for life and swimming.’