They say fourth is the worst place to finish in sport, but Ross Murdoch was not about to beat himself up too much considering his journey to this year’s World Championship 200m breaststroke final.

Commonwealth champion in 2014, the 23-year-old missed out on selection in his favoured event for the 2015 Worlds and last year’s Olympics.

That disappointment still ate away at him until March this year, with Murdoch conceding he was overweight and mentally struggling before seeking help – including via a psychologist and nutritionist – and rediscovering his form in time to make the team for Budapest.

He was eighth in the 100m on Monday before eventually finishing fourth in Friday’s longer event in 2:08.12.

It was nearly seven tenths off bronze and slower than his semi-final – something that clearly irked him – but that disappointment paled in comparison to his pride at simply being able to compete with the world’s best again.

“I don’t come here to swim slower in finals than the semis and I’ve done that twice,” he said.

“I’m pretty mad at myself for that. But that’s something I can work on over the next season.

“If you’d have told me in April that I would have come away with a final spot and come so close to a medal, I would have been absolutely jumping for it because I was not in a good place at the trials. It was probably about six weeks out from trials, I was 5kg over weight and putting on.

“I had to really turn my life around in those six weeks, I was pretty lucky to scrape on the team there.

“Since then I’ve been on top of the world really. I’m proud of myself that I did turn it around, I got myself on the team and I managed to get myself back onto my best.

“This has just been a trampoline, a springboard, into the next season.”

Murdoch however played his part in helping Team GB to a silver medal in the medley relay, racing in the heat stages before Adam Peaty replaced him in the final.

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