A FRANK Jemma Lowe admitted the 100m butterfly has started to move on without her after she could only finish sixth in this evening's Commonwealth Games final.
Hartlepool’s Lowe, who swims for Wales in the Commonwealths, was a bronze medal winner in the event in the last Games in Delhi, and also finished in the top six in the 200m butterfly final at the London Olympics.
However, she was never really in medal contention in tonight’s final, eventually fading into sixth position, with her time of 58.63sec leaving her more than a second behind Canadian gold medallist Katerine Savard.
“It wasn’t great,” said Lowe. “I gave it my best shot, but it just wasn’t there. The event is changing because a lot more people are putting in 57s now.
“That makes the competition an awful lot harder, and it’s certainly a lot harder than it was in Delhi. That’s something I’m going to have to deal with.”
Lowe returns to action in the heats of the 200m butterfly on Monday morning, and is determined to improve on tonight’s result when she steps up in distance.
The field for the 200m does not look as strong on paper, but the extra physical demands ask added questions of the 24-year-old.
“My thoughts have to turn to the 200m now,” she said. “I still don’t know what my best event is so hopefully I’ll do well in that.
“I’ve done well in it before, but it is a longer event so I don’t enjoy it as much because it feels a lot harder. But it has done well for me before, and hopefully it’s going to be better than this one.”
England’s Siobhan O’Connor claimed a silver medal ahead of Lowe, and English swimmers secured their first two golds in the pool as Ben Proud and Chris Walker-Hebborn won the 50m butterfly and 100m backstroke respectively.
Proud, who does not turn 20 until September, shattered the Commonwealth record as he touched the wall in 22.93sec, with a strong final 20m enabling him to overall South African veteran Roland Schoeman, who had looked like being the winner at the halfway stage.
The teenager recently broke Mark Foster’s ten-year old British record, and looks like being one of British swimming’s brightest young prospects in the build-up to the Rio Olympics in two years time.
Walker-Hebborn is on a similarly upward curve in his career, and he edged out Australian Mitch Larkin in a closely-matched final, setting a new Games record of 53.12sec in the process.
Liam Tancock, who had won 100m backstroke gold at the previous two Games, claimed his eighth Commonwealth medal as he finished in joint-third position.
Fran Halsall will hope to add to England’s gold-medal haul in tomorrow’s 50m freestyle final after setting a new Games record as she qualified from the semi-finals as the fastest performer.
Adam Peaty should also claim a medal after topping the standings in the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke, although he will have to hold off Scotland’s 200m champion, Ross Murdoch, in order to claim gold.
There was more Scottish success for the home crowd to celebrate this evening as Daniel Wallace won a thrilling 400m Individual Medley final.
Four lengths down at the halfway stage, Wallace, who hails from Duns, close to Berwick, closed the gap on Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Sebastien Rousseau in the breaststroke leg, before powering to victory in the freestyle.
Australian Fraser-Holmes finished second, adding a silver medal to the gold he claimed earlier in the night in the 200m freestyle.