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McEvoy nurses bruised ego at Rio

AAP logoAAP 11/08/2016 By Laine Clark and Steve Larkin

He's not sick.

And he's not injured.

But Cameron McEvoy admits he does have a bruised ego after the Australian swimming head coach's claims the sprint king had suffered Rio Olympic stage fright.

However, McEvoy said he would accept Jacco Verhaeren's brutally honest appraisal in a bid to move on from his Games flop.

McEvoy was searching for answers after the red-hot favourite's shock second-last placing in the 100m final, claimed by 18-year-old teammate Kyle Chalmers.

There were rumours that McEvoy was battling illness and had been prescribed antibiotics in Rio.

Others like two-time Olympic gold medallist Michael Klim sparked speculation McEvoy was carrying an injury.

Verhaeren didn't mince words when asked for his assessment.

"It looked like he was frozen ... how do you call it, stage fright?" he said.

"He just wasn't there at the right time. And that is mental."

McEvoy was not offering any excuses after he failed to bounce back from his 100m freestyle fizzer by missing the cut on Thursday night for the 50m final.

But McEvoy said he would not shy away from searching for answers - even if it meant taking Verhaeren's comments to heart.

"It is always hard as an athlete to admit that you didn't deliver mentally - you always like to think you have some level of mental toughness," McEvoy said.

"It is a small blow to the personal ego when you accept that.

"I think that is the first step to improvement, accepting it is what it is.

"Not build a road around it and hope for the best next time - you have to face it head on and deal with it."

McEvoy sparked speculation he was not right at Rio when he pulled out of the 200m freestyle and 4x200m relay team at the Games.

"I'm a bit suspicious. I wonder if he's either sick or injured," Klim told SEN radio.

"He's changed his program so drastically ... I just wonder if there's something else we don't know at the moment."

But McEvoy was quick to shoot down the rumours.

"I don't want to stand here being the guy rolling off excuses," he said after his 50m heats.

"Not only because that is not the type of person I am, but I also don't want to take anything away from what Kyle has achieved."

McEvoy's coach Richard Scarce was at a loss to explain his charge's results.

"It just didn't come together," he said.

"You don't want that to happen now at the Olympics ... but it just wasn't right for him on the day.

"And he has got to get past that. And he will."

McEvoy said the soul searching would begin after Saturday's 4x100m medley relay final.

"My job now is to do the medley relay, enjoy the Olympics and what that has to offer and go back and look at the big picture," he said.

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