Loughran books London place
Marco Loughran issued a perfect response to his detractors after booking his place on Team GB for London 2012 at the final trials in Sheffield.
The 23-year-old was second behind Chris Walker-Hebborn in the 200 metres backstroke as both men joined the Great Britain team heading for the Aquatics Centre.
For Loughran it provided a mixture of emotion and a positive conclusion to a turbulent six months which saw him quit the sport in December after a major fall-out with his coaches at the University of Florida, where he swam alongside Olympic champion Ryan Lochte as well as British world record holder Gemma Spofforth.
He returned to Britain at the turn of the year, January 19 to be exact, and started training again at Guildford City, and six months later booked an Olympic spot.
With Walker-Hebborn a clear winner in one minute 57.17 seconds, Loughran dug deep and ducked 0.14secs inside the required FINA A time in 1min 58.34secs.
For the Welshman it answered his critics.
Loughran said: "I've had some people in America - random haters sending me messages on Facebook saying I couldn't do it, I'd left it too late. I got through to the final, came back and showed them what I'm made of and I'm so proud of myself now."
Thursday night also exorcised the memory of 2008 when he was beaten to the team by Commonwealth champion James Goddard who subsequently withdrew from the backstroke to concentrate on the individual medley.
"It's been four years...ever since Beijing when Jimmy Goddard pulled out of the 200 backstroke all I've had in my head is an empty lane because that should have been my spot, and now it is."
Loughran had a successful junior career but his spell in Florida was less productive.
He is still in close contact with Lochte, the man who has eclipsed Michael Phelps over the past couple of years, and texted him just before the session.
He said: "Ryan is the one who is pushing me on in a good way.
"They (his Facebook abusers) are just random American girls. I must have ignored them at a competition or signing or something.
"They seem to hate me but hopefully they'll love me now."
Former British record holder Walker-Hebborn revealed he had come down with laryngitis just before the first trials in London in March.
So, for both men there was relief as well as delight.
The Bath ITC swimmer said: "I'm feeling good, I'm swimming well.
"I've just got to try and master this double taper now.
"I'd love to drop back into the 1:56s where I finished off in 2009.
"We'll see what happens, I am just so happy to be on the team."
Ieuan Lloyd was the third swimmer to book an individual spot tonight when he held off David Carry to win the 200m freestyle in 1:47.55.
The 18-year-old City of Cardiff swimmer had already qualified for the relay but said: "It's great to swim the 200 now in a faster time than I did in London because I am not fully rested so it is great to have the individual to look forward to in London.
"I could see over the last length he was catching up with me. My legs had tied up but I was just thinking to myself 'this is about the olympics and it got me through it'."
Carry's effort may well also see him on to the relay.
However, there was heartache for Antony James, who missed the cut for the 100m butterfly by 0.1secs while Molly Renshaw was "gutted" to similarly miss out in the 200m breaststroke.
The Derventio swimmer was the baby of last year's World Championship team when she competed in Shanghai aged just 15.
She turned 16 less than seven weeks ago but tonight her time of 2:27.72 was not enough to see her onto the team.
Fran Halsall and Amy Smith had already locked out the 100m freestyle slots and tonight the latter won in 55.03.
In non-Olympic events, 17-year-old Lauren Quigley stormed to 50m backstroke victory (28.15) and Rachel Lefley won the 50m butterfly (27.04).