Bruce Arthur of the National Post explains:
Brown was one of Canada's few real performers in the pool at the 2004 Olympics, finishing sixth in the 200-metre breaststroke during a meet where it was all but considered a victory that nobody drowned. He was the only one of our swimmers to set a Canadian record, and he did it three times. Afterwards he promised, "I will definitely be on the podium in Beijing."
Four years later, he was just nine one-hundredths of a second away. A sliver. A fingernail. It was, for him and for Canada, a heartbreaking miss.
"About as frustrating as it gets," said the likeable Brown after swimming a 2:09.23 in the 200-metre breaststroke final. "Fourth place is probably the worst spot you can get at the Olympic Games, especially by a tenth of a second. My time from the semi-finals would have been silver there. That's extremely disappointing."
The Rest from the Post.
It's an old observation. Luck follows good fortune, but Murphy's Law dogs those who struggle.