LONDON — Jessie Lacuna of Team Philippines took one long look at the board that showed the results a few moments after his heat in the 200-meter freestyle, shaking his head.
He didn’t like what he saw.
On a day to forget, the 18-year-old Lacuna timed a poor one minute, 52. 91 seconds while placing fifth in a field of seven in the second of six heats and missed qualifying for the semifinals of the event where only the top 16 swimmers with the best times qualified.
Overall, his time was good only for 36th place among the 40 starters in a big letdown for Lacuna, who also missed tying his personal best of 1:50.90 he set during an invitational tournament in Singapore two years ago.
‘’Too excited. He was too fast in the first 100 meters. I think he’ll learn a lot of lesson from this defeat,’’ said coach Pinky Brosas.’’ The field is really formidable.’’
Indeed, it was.
Sun Yang of China, who won the 400m freestyle on Saturday, led the 16 qualifiers after topping the fourth heat with a time of 1:46.24, ahead of American Ryan Lochte (1:46.45) who raced with him in the same heat.
Another notable qualifier was reigning world record holder Paul Biedermann of Germany, who came in only third in the third heat but still made it to the semifinals with a time of 1:47.27, good for 10th place.
The last of two Filipino swimmers who made it here thanks to the Universality rule of the world swimming body Fina will see action on August 1 as Jasmine Alkhaldi competes in the 100-meter freestyle.
Sadly, the future offers very little hope for Alkhaldi.
A native of Pulilan, Bulacan, Lacuna did 27.79 seconds in the first 50 meters and 28.85 in the next 50, which Brosas said was a fast one.
‘’Mabilis yung first 100 meters niya kaya kinapos,’’ said Brosas of his ward, who was running third as the field negotiated the next 50 meters.
True enough, he started to fade badly in the final 50m.