Gandy wins World Championship silver in Shanghai
28 July 2011
Ellen Gandy won the British Gas GBR Swimming Team’s third medal of the 2011 World Championships, taking silver in the 200m Butterfly on Day Five in Shanghai.
The 19-year old stuck to her race plan despite turning sixth after the opening 50m, gradually moving through the field to touch in a season’s best 2:05.59 and secure the biggest medal of her career to date.
I'm so happy - it's just an amazing feeling to have a World Championship medal.
Gandy – who won Commonwealth and European bronze in the same event last season – was battling for gold in the final 5m but touched just 0.04 seconds shy of China’s Olympic silver medallist Jiao Liuyang.
But the British record holder touched safely home ahead of Olympic champion Liu Zige (2:05.90) in bronze and insisted she had no idea how close the finish had been.
"I was solely focused on my own swim," said Gandy, who finished fifth in the 100m Butterfly final earlier in the week. "I didn't know where she (Jiao) was and I was just gunning it to the wall.
"It's an incredible feeling. I really didn't think I would be here at the start of the day. I'm so happy - it's just an amazing feeling to have a World Championship medal.
"It's been a really tough week but really good racing and preparation for next year."
World short course champion Jemma Lowe was also in the 200m Butterfly final and finished seventh overall.
The Welsh record holder had qualified fastest for the final but dropped away in the final 50m to touch in 2:06.64.
But having made her first World Championship finals in both the 100m and 200m Butterfly, the British Gas ITC Swansea swimmer insisted she had taken great confidence from her performance in China.
"To make two finals at this World Championships is a fantastic achievement because there is such a strong field out there," said Lowe.
"I'm quite disappointed with that final because, after going fastest I was really hopeful and I was getting quite excited but it wasn't to be.
"I'm going in the right direction and it's looking good for me for next year."
Double Commonwealth champion James Goddard achieved the best long course World Championship result of his career to finish fourth in the 200m Individual Medley.
It's likely to be my last World Championships so to come so close to a medal is gutting.
Competing in his fifth World Championships, the 28-year old put his recent shoulder injury behind him to clock a season’s best 1:57.79.
USA’s defending champion Ryan Lochte broke his own world record to win gold in 1:54.00 ahead of Olympic champion Michael Phelps (1:54.16) while Hungary’s European champion Laszlo Cseh (1:57.69) edged out Goddard in a desperate sprint to the wall.
And the British Gas Stockport ITC swimmer insists he will use the result as motivation to go at least one better at next year’s London 2012 Olympic Games.
“I hate coming fourth,” said Goddard. “It’s likely to be my last World Championships so to come so close to a medal is gutting.
“I knew I had a chance of the bronze but that the first two medals were taken and that world record swim from Ryan confirmed that.
“My freestyle needed to be better as that’s where this event is won and lost but I’ve been held back by an old shoulder issue.
“I’ll take this season, work harder and use it for London.”
The onther British Gas GBR swimmers in final action were the women's 4x200m Freestyle relay team, who secured an automatic relay place at London 2012 in qualifying for the final.
The quartet of Jo Jackson, Rebecca Turner, Hannah Miley and Caitlin McClatchey ultimately finished sixth, touching in 7:53.51 as USA (7:46.14) won gold ahead of Australia (7:47.42) and China (7:47.66).
European champion Fran Halsall laid down a marker of intent, qualifying fastest for the 100m Freestyle final.
The British Gas ITC Loughborough swimmer, who made her breakthrough with silver in the same event at the 2009 World Championships, had cruised through the morning heats in ninth.
That's my fastest time without the old suits so it shows the work I've done this year is paying off.
But the 21-year old took her semi final by the scruff of the neck, leading out in 25.63 before bringing it home in a season’s best 53.67.
And Halsall admitted she had set out to make an impression ahead of tomorrow night’s final.
“I’ve been waiting to swim for three days and I didn’t feel it went well this morning so I wanted to make a statement in the semi final,” said Halsall.
“I’ve been itching to get going this week and now I feel like I’m in the meet.
“That’s my fastest time without the old suits so it shows the work I’ve done this year is paying off.
“Tomorrow will be a first time going into a major final in lane four but I’m excited and looking forward to it.”
ASA National champion Amy Smith was also in action in the 100m Freestyle semi finals and touched in 55.33 to finish 16th overall.
Willis was the faster of the two in the semi finals, setting a personal best 2:10.49 to finish fourth in his heat and qualify fifth overall.
But Commonwealth silver medallist Jamieson wasn’t far behind, clocking 2:10.54 to finish second in his semi and progress sixth fastest to tomorrow’s final.
"I've got a mixed reaction to that swim," said Jamieson. "It took me a while to get going but I made the final which is the main thing.
"I feel like there's a lot more there - I'm in the final now and hopefully I can drop some more time tomorrow."
Willis added: "I like rising to these big occasions. You have the adrenaline and the best swimmers around you and it all helps.
"I'm just going to go for it and give it my best. I still can't believe I'm in the final so it should be a great experience."
Stacey Tadd broke her own English record in her first World Championship semi final.
The 22-year old finished eighth in her 200m Breaststroke semi and 14th overall, slicing more than half a second off her old marker to touch in 2:26.73.