Controversial Aussie swimmer D'Arcy dips out

MICHAEL GLEESON
Last updated 11:56 31/07/2012
Nick D'arcy
Reuters
OLYMPICS OVER: Nick D'Arcy of Australia.

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Someone finally knocked Nick D'Arcy out. The controversial swimmer's Olympic games is over barely 12 hours after it began, eliminated in the semi finals of the race he had spent five years fighting to be allowed to swim.

D'Arcy's bruising journey to make an Olympics from the day he was initially selected to an Australian team to diving into a pool to represent his country at an Olympics is over after he finished seventh in the semi-final of the 200m butterfly and was eliminated.

The most polarising and controversial figure in swimming, indeed presently the most contentious figure in Australian sport, D'Arcy will now be put on a plane out of England early, at the end of the swim section of the games.

"It's pretty raw. Because it is fresh I haven't had time to digest it, it will probably take a bit of getting over but that is just the way it turns out," said D'Arcy.

"It's difficult to put into words (the disappointment after the journey to get to the Olympics). I have got my girlfriend here, I have got one of my good mates, my uncle, my mum and dad, all these friends and family here and I was looking forward to making the final for them and putting on a bit of a show but unfortunately that is not going to happen.

"It's a tremendous feeling of pride being able to be part of the team and stand up there to represent your country, it's a once in a lifetime experience and especially having all those friends and family in the stands. I just am disappointed I couldn't do a better job for everyone cheering back home."

D'Arcy said he was disappointed but accepting of the fact he will have to leave the games early, at the conclusion of the swimming, after he was punished by the Australian Olympic Committee after he and fellow swimmer Kendrick Monk posted photographs of themselves on Facebook posing with guns in a US shop.

"It is going to be difficult to leave when everyone is kind of gearing up and getting ready to have a bit of fun. (But) I mean I came here knowing that was the deal and I am going to wear it," he said.

D'Arcy said he had battled in the semi-final after getting through his heat earlier in the day and several technical things with his swim did not go to plan.

"I was almost two seconds off my best time and you can't do that in Olympic swimming and expect it make it through to the final," said D'Arcy who entered the Olympics having posted the third fastest time of the year.

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"Unfortunately everything didn't come together tonight and didn't quite work out as I'd like it to. I don't think now is the time for excuses, if you don't have a good swim you wear it you don't sit there and rake up reasons why you didn't go well because at the end of the day it's not going to change anything and they are not going to re-swim the race because I had a few problems so I am not going to make excuses for it."

Fighting got D'Arcy kicked out of the last Olympics days after he was selected to represent Australia in Beijing and it was nearly five more years of fighting to get back on the team but he is uncertain now whether one Olympics, and as it turned out one day of competing will be the sum of all of those fights.

"I don't know at the moment, it's been a four year journey so I guess that will be something I digest over the next couple of weeks," he said.

D'Arcy received the coolest of cheers for any Australian to enter the pool deck, a mumble quieter than his teammate in lane one Chris Wright who ended up finishing last behind D'Arcy.

US superstar Michael Phelps in the other semi-final of the 200 butterfly advanced his bid to become the first male swimmer to win the same event at three successive Olympic Games when he won his heat and went through to the final in the fourth fastest time.

The 25-year-old D'Arcy was making his Olympic debut after being kicked off the last Australian Olympic team for Beijing after he punched fellow teammate Simon Cowley in the face on the night of their Olympic selection knocked him out and caused extensive damage.

He was banned from competing in the China games and later received a suspended jail sentence and was banned from competing at the next year's world championships. The Australian Olympic Committee considered banning him for life but relented and allowed him on the Australian team for London.

Many within Australia remain troubled that the swimmer was ever allowed back on the team and will not be upset to see him eliminated.

-Sydney Morning Herald

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