Buxton's Abbie Wood happy with efforts at Tokyo Olympics

Abbie Wood capped an impressive Olympic Games showing with seventh place in Friday morning’s 200m breaststroke final in Tokyo.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 2:21 pm
Abbie Wood came home empty-handed from an Olympics to remember. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Wood, who had narrowly missed out on a medal in both the 200m individual medley and women’s 4x100m freestyle relay earlier in the week, faced a tough task in the breaststroke – as proved by winner Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa claiming a world record in a time of 2.18.95 ahead of Americans Lilly King and Annie Lazor – King improving her personal best by two seconds.

Wood’s team-mate Molly Renshaw was sixth in 2.22.65.

Schoenmaker’s winning time was just under five seconds quicker than Wood, who clocked 2.23.72, but the 22-year-old can be proud of her efforts in Japan which have thrust her into the spotlight as a major contender for medals when the Games go to Paris in three years’ time, as well as putting her in good shape for a busy year ahead.

Wood said: “I’ve been really happy with my swims this week. I’d obviously want to finish on a bit more of a high because we’re both [also referring to Renshaw] able to swim faster than that but it’s just how it goes and we just have to keep going.

“We’re not going to have much time off when we get back. The International Swimming League kicks off soon so I just want to enjoy that and get some confidence as it really boosted me last year so to get the same out of it this year going into the long course season with the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships all in one year will mean it’s just going to be race after race and I’ll hopefully build more confidence as we go along.”

Wood, a student at Loughborough University, added she felt she had paid the price for a gruelling schedule.

“It is always a challenge in the morning but I felt I did well in the medley,” she said.

“But doing six sessions on the beat with my best event in there has made it a tough schedule and I knew that coming in.

"I was on an outside lane so I wasn’t sure what was going on, I am out of the race and it was hard to keep the momentum going.

“I don’t really know what happened but that is sport and my heart goes out to Molly (Renshaw).”

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