FOURTH-PLACE finishes are beginning to haunt James Guy and the former Swim Trafford star admits the near-misses are rapidly playing on his mind.

Guy had to settle for a spot off the podium as fellow Brit Duncan Scott sailed to 200m freestyle gold at the European Championships on Tuesday.

But the achievements of his team-mate meant little to the 22-year-old in the Tollcross Swimming Centre, touching the wall in 1min 46.20secs – nearly a second back.

It was an effort that matched the exact finish at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in his specialist event, while history repeated itself earlier this year at the Commonwealth Games.

This latest close call also saw Guy miss out on his first individual medal in Glasgow, though two relay medals – including 4x200m freestyle gold – are certainly not to be sniffed at.

“Fourth place is the worst place to finish, I’m sick of finishing fourth – it happened in the Commonwealth Games and it’s fast become my space,” he said.

“It is what it is, it’s frustrating and I don’t really know why I’m going at that time when it comes to the race.

“I’ve been training really well, my body is changing and this is the first time at this meet where I’ve stuck to the process rather than going out and dying on my backside.

“It’s coming together slowly but it’s not been going my way, it certainly didn’t in this race.

“I think I have a few ideas about what it could be, I’ve got a bit more muscle this year and there’s been a lot of work in the gym – but I’ve been training really well so it’s very frustrating.”

Time for licking wounds will be minimal for Guy, he was back in action as early as yesterday morning with the 100m butterfly while a medley relay also occupies his time before leaving Scotland.

But with this disappointment coming in a line of 200m freestyle setbacks, this is not one to get over in the blink of an eye.

A quick turnaround may therefore come in his favour, looking to add to the gold and bronze medals he has already picked up in the pool, with one more chance to stand on the podium solo.

“I’ve got the 100m fly to come in the morning, it’s one to be able to look forward to, and then I finished with the medley relay which will be good fun,” he added.

“You have to take it one event at a time, one day at a time and one round at a time – that’s how you manage it, you can’t think about everything else so you just need to focus on yourself and get through each round as best you can.

“It’s done now, what else can you do? I can’t go back and change it so I just need to go and focus on the next one.”

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