Tyler’s Olympic dream ends early

Tyler’s Olympic dream ends early

Megan Ryan

Former Gophers swimmer Jillian Tyler’s second chance at an Olympic medal ended in the semifinals Sunday in London.

Tyler competed for the Canadian national team in the 100-meter breaststroke. She qualified 15th overall with a sixth-place finish in her preliminary heat with a time of 1:07.81.

In her semifinal heat, Tyler only managed to touch the wall in 1:07.87. She placed seventh in the heat and 14th overall, missing the top-8 cutoff for the final.

“It’s a huge accomplishment just to be participating in your second Olympics,” Minnesota’s head swimming and diving coach and Tyler’s personal coach Kelly Kremer said. “I know our goals were higher. We both know that she’s capable of going a lot faster.”

At her last Olympics in 2008 in Beijing, Tyler also ended her run in the semifinals, placing 13th overall. At last year’s World Championships, Tyler placed seventh.

Fifteen-year-old Lithuanian phenomenon Ruta Meilutyte won the gold medal Monday. American Rebecca Soni won silver, and Japan’s Satomi Suzuki won bronze,

Tyler may have one more chance at an Olympic medal as a member of Canada’s 4×100 medley relay Aug. 3-4.

However, her spot in the relay is not guaranteed, as teammate Tera Van Beilen could race instead. Van Beilen tied for the eighth-place spot in the 100 breaststroke final and lost a swim-off to Jamaica’s Alia Atkinson.