Jamieson strikes magnificent silver at London 2012
1st August 2012
Michael Jamieson became Team GB’s second swimming medallist of London 2012 as he struck 200m Breaststroke silver in his first Olympic final.
The Scot had qualified fastest for the final and it took a world record 2:07.28 from Hungary’s world champion Daniel Gyurta to deny him gold as Jamieson came home in 2:07.43 – his third British record in as many races.
I was desperate to get on the podium tonight to repay the faith and support that we’ve had.
Jamieson turned in fourth at the half-way stage but paced his race perfectly to come storming back on the final length and overhaul Japan’s defending Olympic champion from the past two Games, Kosuke Kitajima.
The Brit’s result added his name to a prestigious list of British male Olympic breaststroke medallists which includes David Wilkie, Duncan Goodhew, Adrian Moorhouse and Nick Gillingham.
But, having swum so well throughout his Olympic debut, Jamieson admitted he wasn’t too shocked at clocking his fastest time when it mattered most.
“I knew I had a little bit more to give after last night,” said Jamieson.
“It’s so much easier to swim with a bit of confidence which I had after the 100m and then the first couple of rounds here.
“I’ve had so many messages – it’s been unbelievable. I was desperate to get on the podium tonight to repay the faith and support that we’ve had.
“It was a tactical race – I know how strong Gyurta’s last 50m is so I tried to stay on his shoulder and then make a move on the second 25m of the last 50m and have everything on the line on the last 25m.
“For so many years I’ve gone over this in my head and how I was going to prepare for it and I’m just delighted.”
Jamieson’s training partner under Dave McNulty and Graeme Antwhistle at the British Gas ITC Bath, Andrew Willis, was also in action in the 200m Breaststroke final.
It was a great final and a great experience for me.
The 21-year old – also making his Olympic debut – had smashed his English record in the semi-finals, joining Jamieson as the only two British breaststrokers under 2:09 for the distance.
Willis lay third at the half-way point and while he ultimately tired to touch eighth in 2:09.44, he was adamant he could pick no bones in his endeavor on the night.
“That was such a tough race,” said Willis. “I gave it my all and that’s all I could ask for.
“I’m really happy for Michael. He deserves it and I think it just goes to show what great coaches and support staff we have at Bath.
“It was a great final and a great experience for me.”
Jemma Lowe impressed to finish sixth from lane eight in the 200m Butterfly final.
It just wasn't my day today but it's been an unbelievable experience at my second Games.
The Welsh record holder became the first Brit to compete in the women’s 200 Fly final since Samantha Purvis in 1984 and clocked her fastest time of the meet – 2:06.80 – in the final.
She turned third at the half-way stage but couldn't stay with the leaders as China's Jiao Liuyang pulled clear to win gold in 2:04.06 ahead of Spain's Mireia Belmonte Garcia (2:05.25) and Japan's Natsumi Hoshi (2:05.48).
"I gave that everything I had," said Lowe. "It's the Olympic final and I was really happy to get into it last night.
"I was really nervous coming out last and being the last one in the call room.
"But the crowd were really great. It just wasn't my day today by it's been an unbelievable experience at my second Games."
The British 4x200m Freestyle Relay quartet closed the session with a creditable fifth place.
The quartet of Caitlin McClatchey, Rebecca Turner, Hannah Miley and Jo Jackson finished in 7:52.37 - an improvement on their time from the heats and a step-up from their sixth place finish at last year's World Championships in Shanghai.
Fran Halsall booked a spot in the 100m Freestyle final for the second consecutive Olympic Games.
It’s going to take 52 to win it definitely. I’ve been aiming all year to go that fast and that felt pretty good.
The World silver medallist from 2009 looked in control through out and touched in 53.77 to progress fifth fastest to tomorrow’s final.
And having been disappointed with her 54.02 heat swim, Halsall admitted she was beginning to feel more like herself.
“Tonight it felt really smooth and easy in that last 10m,” said Halsall.
“It’s going to take 52 to win it definitely. I’ve been aiming all year to go that fast and that felt pretty good.
“It felt awful this morning but I think I just needed to get it out of my system.
“Tonight it felt really smooth and easy in that last 10m and anything can happen in an Olympic final so I’ll be in there to win it.”
Competing in her first Olympic semi-final, Amy Smith finished 14th in 54.28.
While she improved on her 54.37 from the heats, the 25-year old was frustrated not to have made the final but conceded she would do her best to go one better in the 50m Freestyle later in the meet.
“I’m a little bit disappointed with that so I’ll go back and look at it and take away the positives then put that into the 50m.
“It will be great to watch Fran in the final and I’m looking forward to the 50m.”
James Goddard secured a final berth in his only event at his third Olympic Games - the 200m Individual Medley.
I'm not swimming as fast as I'd like yet but I'm hoping my hard work will pay off.
The Commonwealth champion touched third in his heat, clocking 1:58.49 to progress seventh fastest.
"I'm satisfied with that," said Goddard. "It won't be easy tomorrow though. The Brazilian boy is swimming well and so is the Japanese lad - I want to go a lot quicker that that really.
"I've been working a lot on my freestyle in the last few months and I'm not swimming as fast I'd like yet but I'm hoping that work will pay off."
Joe Roebuck was also in action in the 200m Individual Medley semi-finals - his third individual event of the Games.
Roebuck improved on his heat swim to clock 1:59.57 and finish 11th overall.
"It was a better swim than this morning which is good," said Roebuck. "So I've got to be happy with that because I gave it everything I've got.
"Unfortunately my best time today would have got through to the final but my preparations haven't been great."