By Paul Jones
Ben Pritchard admitted he felt deflated after failing to improve on a bronze medal at the World Rowing Championships in Belgrade.
Swansea’s Great Britain para rower collected a second successive bronze in the PR1 men’s single sculls.
It was an impressive display from Pritchard, given the 31-year-old had not raced this season due to injury.
But he said: “I think it’s a missed opportunity this year to move up the field.
“But given that I’ve only had 12 weeks training this season, it’s a worthwhile effort and we can build on it for next year.
“I’m happy, I’m just a bit gutted at the same time. But that’s the life of an athlete, you’re never quite happy with your performance.
“I did the plan, I executed it and I didn’t have anything left – that’s all you can ask for at the end of the day.”
Injuries are rarely easy to rehab from and Pritchard has faced challenges as he returned from two recent surgeries and a bone graft.
However, he believes he could not have had better support throughout his recovery, and the arrival of daughter Efa in June has given him an extra sense of perspective throughout recent months.
“Meg and the baby have been cheering me on back at home and in 24hrs I’ll be there and in dad mode which I can’t wait for.”
Great Britain’s rowers added a gold in the men’s eight to the bronze for Pritchard on the final day.
The women’s eight were fourth in their final but that was enough to clinch an Olympic spot, which meant Great Britain qualified nine boats for the Paris Games and four for the Paralympics.
With six gold, one silver and two bronze, Great Britain finished second behind the Netherlands in the medals table in the Serbian capital.