ON the biggest stage possible, Danny Talbot produced the fastest display of his life but sadly, it wasn’t enough to join the world’s best in the 200m Olympic final.

Four years after missing out on an individual berth at the London 2012 Games, the Trowbridge Tornado was handed a long-awaited chance to compete independently at the pinnacle of his sport in Rio and can depart Brazil with his head held high after clocking a new personal best of 20.25 seconds.

At his last major competition almost a year ago at the World Championships in Beijing, the 25-year-old secured a PB of 20.27 and he repeated the trick at his second Olympic Games, matching that time on Tuesday before going on to better it in the early hours of Thursday morning.

But just like that day at the iconic Bird’s Nest Stadium last August, Talbot’s new PB wasn’t enough to follow Usain Bolt and Co into the showdown for the medals.

The Trowbridge ace had plenty of reasons to be proud of his performance but admitted that, as always, he was left with the feeling that there is even more speed that he can summon in future.

“Just like last year, going to Beijing, I was able to run a PB,” Talbot told the BBC.

“To be honest, I think I had a really good start and then I almost relaxed too much around the bend.

“Llooking at the replay, I was very cautious around the bend; trying to leave stuff for the straight. Maybe I should have gone a bit harder.

“I ran a PB. I’ve had another good night and I’ve enjoyed it again, so I couldn’t ask for much more.

“Every athlete always thinks they have got more in the locker. Hopefully that’s true for me but I have to wait and see.”

In the first of three semi-finals, the Wiltshire star found himself sandwiched between American LaShawn Merritt – a former 400m gold medallist – and France’s ex-European champion Christophe Lemaitre, with Talbot hanging on to the former’s coat-tails coming out of the bend.

Merritt would go on to blaze away to win in 19.94, with Lemaitre second (20.01) but Talbot crossed the finish line third ahead of Jamaica’s Nickel Ashmeade.

With the top two finishers qualifying for the final outright, the Trowbridge man faced a nervous wait in the next two races to see if he had done enough.

However, it proved not quite enough against a high-quality field as even US sprinter Justin Gatlin and Jamaican Yohan Blake failed to qualify.

Olympic 100m champion Usain Bolt was the fastest qualifier in 19.78, with Talbot’s Team GB colleague Adam Gemili making it through as one of the fastest losers.