LONDON (Reuters) - American swimmer Chloe Sutton could at least be thankful that there were no jellyfish or dead dogs in the Olympic pool on Sunday.
The 20-year-old Californian competed in the 2008 Beijing Games in the open water event, when there were objects floating around her, but has made the switch to shorter distances in the pool for London.
The death of good friend Fran Crippen, a world championship bronze medalist who lost consciousness and drowned in a 10km open water competition in the United Arab Emirates in 2010, helped her make the decision.
"I still love open water and I loved it so much when I was doing it but I'm happy to be in the pool," she said after finishing second in her 400 freestyle heat on Sunday behind Olympic champion Rebecca Adlington of Britain.
Adlington just scraped through to the final, eighth overall, but Sutton missed out in 10th place.
"Sometimes in open water races you don't know if you are going to survive or not. It's a different kind of nervousness," said Sutton, the emotion of competing written all over her face as her voice trembled.
A veteran and a rookie at the same time, Sutton said she felt like a combination of the two in her second Games but was still feeling the nerves of a newcomer.
"I was in my hotel room last night and this morning, just myself with my own thoughts, I started getting really nervous.
"But once you start getting ready to swim is when you feel the calm come over you."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Greg Stutchbury)