Taranaki swimmer Dylan Dunlop-Barrett was shattered after the New Zealand men's 4x200m freestyle relay team faded to last in their Olympic heat last night.
The New Plymouth Aquatics member and Taranaki's sole representative at London, was disappointed after the team finished three seconds down on the national record they set at the Olympic trials in March.
Dunlop-Barrett, 21, was handed the third leg of the relay and was the second fastest element of the Kiwi quartet in 1min 49.51sec - two seconds behind the quickest split set by national 200m and 400m record holder Matt Stanley.
The Kiwis finished 15th from 16 relay teams, six seconds off the time needed to reach the Olympic final and 11 seconds down on fastest qualifiers the United States of America.
Dunlop-Barrett said his first Olympic experience had at times been intimidating and left him with mixed feelings.
“It's a pressure cooker out there,” Dunlop-Barrett told Fairfax Media.
“I've mixed emotions really, the experience was incredible but personally I'm quite disappointed in my performance, I feel like I let the team down a little bit.
“Coming into the Olympic village has been pretty unreal, the whole atmosphere has been awesome, maybe almost too awesome.”
Having now experienced the most intense environment in world sport, Dunlop-Barrett said it stood him in good stead for his next goal of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, and on to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.
“I'm still pretty young. At least I've got some good experience under my belt looking towards Rio," he said.
“I'm really targeting a good competition as an individual at the Commonwealth Games now and hopefully this relay team can be successful there as well.
“That's the next major target, trying to do really well at the Commonwealth's.”
With the competitive element of Dunlop-Barrett's Olympic Games now over, Dunlop-Barrett said his role turned to that of “chief cheerleader”.
“I'll be supporting my team-mates through to the end of the swimming, I'll be chief cheerleader and the second week of the Games when the swimming's over will be all about supporting all other Kiwis in different sports.”
Meanwhile, Glenn Snyders broke another New Zealand record to reach the Olympic semifinal of the 200m breaststroke.
After also breaking his own national record in the 100m on day one, Snyders took three-tenths of a second off his career best to qualify 10th fastest for the final in 2min 10.55sec.
- Fairfax Media