WIRRAL had a trio of Olympians in action at the Games in London this week but unfortunately none of them were able to secure a medal.
Upton-born Andy Baddeley’s dreams of a second successive Olympic final were dashed when he was just edged out of Sunday’s semi-final.
Natasha Jonas, who attended Weatherhead High School in Wallasey, was beaten 26-15 on points by Ireland’s Katie Taylor on Monday in her women’s boxing 60kg quarter-final but received a standing ovation from the ExCel Arena crowd.
Birkenhead’s Chris McDermott Olympic handball adventure is over after Great Britain’s men lost to reigning silver medallists Iceland in their final preliminary stage game.
That Taylor boxed as brilliantly as she did said everything about the performance of Jonas.
“I could have thrown the kitchen sink at her or driven a bus into her today and she still would have won,” said Jonas.
“There are no excuses, she was the best boxer on the day.
“I was the fittest, strongest and healthiest I have ever been and she still beat me.”
Jonas will take some time out but the experience of London 2012 has only served to heighten her desire to make the medal podium and she intends to pursue a place at Rio 2016.
She said: “Hopefully at the Games in Rio the result will be a better one for me.
“As long as I continue being in the shape that I am in and I think that I am still in contention then I will keep boxing.
“As long as I am one of the best in the world I will still box.”
Meanwhile, Baddeley was disappointed that he was forced to race in a 13-man heat after the reinstatement of Nixon Chepseba – the 21-year-old Kenyan who reached Monday’s final after originally being eliminated in Friday’s heat.
“It’s a sore point with me because he didn’t even fall over and he was reinstated,” said Baddeley.
“I think if you get kicked and you’re in a position where you were obviously going to qualify you should be reinstated.
“But he stumbled, went out wide and came back in again. He had a fair bit of time to go.”
After a cagey, tactical first semi-final saw GB team-mate Ross Murray eliminated, Baddeley’s heat was run at a searing pace and won by Abdalaati Iguider in 3:33.99.
Baddeley’s finish time of 3:36.03, almost two seconds outside his personal best, wasn’t enough to edge out Ali Mansoor for the final fastest loser’s slot.
“I’m disappointed not to make the final,” he added.
“But if anything it makes me even prouder of what I did last time (when he finished ninth in Beijing) but I wanted to go to the final and do even better.”