Rotherham’s Nick Grainger insisted it was worth swimming through the pain barrier to get the experience of competing at the Commonwealth Games.
The 19-year old is making his major championship debut at Glasgow 2014 but admitted a nagging back injury cost him the chance of fulfilling his full potential.
Grainger made the 200m freestyle final but placed eighth in 1:49.69 minutes, well outside his personal best as Australian Thomas Fraser-Holmes took gold.
“I got the injury just a week before trials earlier in the year so I swam trials with it and then I had ten to 12 weeks off afterwards,” he said.
“Then I’ve only been in the water for about five weeks, two of which were more or less just floating, so it’s hardly been ideal preparation for the biggest event of my career.
“It was basically a joint decision to come here with my doctor – the main goal was to compete here.
“The aim was to get fit enough so I could get in the race and get the experience. I’ve done that and more, I’m coming away having made a major final, so I’m more than happy.”
Grainger won a swim-off to make the final but Lewis Coleman failed in the heats of the 200m freestyle, placing 18th, while Max Litchfield missed out on the 400m medley medal showdown.
Commonwealth singles champion Nick Matthew took on Scotland’s Alan Clyne in his latest quest for another gold – both celebrating their birthdays.
But it was Matthew who enjoyed the better day – recording a 11-4, 11-5, 11-8 victory to set up a quarter-final against Guernsey’s Chris Simpson.
And both of England’s table tennis outfits are well positioned for team success after two days – Liam Pitchford and the men 3-0 winners over Barbados to top their group and earn a bye into today’s (Saturday’s) quarter-finals.
England’s women’s team of Joanna Drinkhall, Kelly Sibley and Hannah Hicks – Karina Le Fevre was once again a spectator – maintained their own unbeaten run to confirming top spot in Group 3 and a quarter-final birth following a 3-0 victory over Tanzania.
* Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We work with sports, Sponsors and Sport England to support the development of athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.