The African and All African Games champion swam 49.60 to trail Romania’s Norbert Trandafir (49.02) and Martin Verner of Czech Republic (49.49) to end his interest in the competition at the ExCel Aquatic Centre.
The younger of the Dunford sibling started well from the buzzer, covering the opening 50m in 23.31 before slowing down after the turn to record 26.29 in the final half of the race as he missed the semis for the second successive Olympics following his Beijing heartache four years ago.
“I’m disappointed since I died on the back 50m. I’m looking forward to the 50m freestyle which is my race,” David said poolside when his exit was confirmed.
However, unlike China, where he missed the semis by hundredth of a second, David was nowhere close to the top 16 who sailed to the semis set for Tuesday night since his effort was ranked 26th overall among the 56 competitors who took to the pool in the sprint event.
The Kenyan swimming is set to return to the pool for the 50m freestyle heats on Thursday.
The Freestyle stroke is the fastest and to start the race swimmers dive from the starting blocks.
The turn in the Freestyle events is usually a tumble turn, although the Swimming International Federation (FINA) rules state any turn is legal as long as some part of the swimmer’s body touches the end of the pool before the turn.
All races start with heats where swimmers are seeded according to FINA rules, based on the final entry lists.
These seedings are used to determine the heat each swimmer starts in – the top seeds are placed in different heats. Seedings are also used to determine the lane each athlete swim in – the higher the seeding, the closer to the centre lanes of the pool.
The top 16 swimmers from the heats progress to the semi-finals, and the top eight then advance to the final. As in the heats, the swimmers’ seedings are used to decide which semi-final they swim in, and which lane they are allocated.
If there is a tie for the last qualifying position, a swim-off decides which athlete progresses.
David was seeded in Heat 5 of 8 where America’s Nathan Adrian set the fastest time of the qualifiers when he won the last event in 48.19.