North-East swimmer claims European bronze

The Northern Echo: BRONZE MEDAL: Jemma Lowe finished third in the 200m butterfly final at the European Short-Course Championships in Denmark BRONZE MEDAL: Jemma Lowe finished third in the 200m butterfly final at the European Short-Course Championships in Denmark

JEMMA LOWE claimed a bronze medal in the final of the 200m butterfly as Britain’s swimmers enjoyed a successful opening night of the European Short-Course Championships in Denmark.

Hartlepool-born Lowe exhibited controlled pacing to finish third in a fast-paced final that saw Spain’s Mireia Belmonte Garcia set a new European record.

Garcia performed powerfully from the off, and while Germany’s Fran Hentke claimed the silver, Lowe will be reasonably satisfied with her third-placed finish in a time of 2:04.51.

The North-Easterner will be one of the favourites for another medal at next year’s Commonwealth Games, although she will be representing Wales rather than England in Glasgow.

Middlesbrough’s Aimee Willmott also made it through to today’s 200m butterfly final as she twice bettered her personal best for the discipline during the rounds.

Willmott finished in sixth place in the final, almost three seconds behind Lowe, but her stronger events are still to come over the weekend.

In total, Britain won three medals on the opening night of competition in Herning, with teenager Siobhan-Marie O’Connor winning silver in the final of the 200m individual medley as she finished one place ahead of Sophie Allen, who took bronze.

The British duo finished strongly as they chased down Hungarian gold medallist Katinka Hosszu, who set a new Championship record of 2:04.33.

Michael Jamieson set a new British record in the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke to comfortably book his place in tomorrow’s final as fifth fastest. He touched home in 57.89 to finish fourth in his semi-final and better the previous national mark set by James Gibson in 2008.

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