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Lowe and Gandy impress in Butterfly semis

27 July 2011

Jemma Lowe and Ellen Gandy stole the show for the British Gas GBR Swimming team on Day Four of the World Championships, both winning their respective 200m Butterfly semi finals.

World Short Course silver medallist Lowe was the quickest of the pair, beating Olympic champion Liu Zige in her home pool to touch in 2:06.30 and progress fastest to tomorrow night’s final.

I like the 100m because it's shorter but I do train more for the 200m and it's showed in my results recently.

But Gandy also defeated a strong field to win the first semi final in 2:06.73, leading the likes of Olympic silver medallist Jiao Liuyang and World Short Course champion Mireaia Belmonte Garcia for the entire race to qualify fourth fastest.

Roommates in the British camp in China, Gandy and Lowe both reached their debut World Championship final in the 100m Butterfly earlier in the week, finishing fifth and eighth respectively.

But Lowe insists it’s over 200m where each of them holds their strongest hand.

“It’s hard to decide a favourite swim,” said Lowe, who switched to the British Gas ITC Swansea at the beginning of the season.

“I like the 100m because it’s shorter but I do train more for the 200m and it’s showed in my results recently.

“I’m loving the fact that both Elly and I got through. It’s good that we have the same schedule and are sharing a room at the hotel and it’s just nice that we have each other in the call room.

“We both want each other to do well so it will be good if we can both get on the podium tomorrow night..”

Gandy added: "The 200 is my main event so it’s what I train for. I’ve done 200 fly about a million times so I know exactly what I need to do.

"It was just about going out there tonight and really taking it out in the 100 and seeing where I was at."

Competing in his fifth consecutive World Championship, Commonwealth champion James Goddard qualified for the 200m Individual Medley final.

The British Gas ITC Stockport swimmer finished fourth in his heat but his time of 1:58.50 was fast enough to progress sixth fastest for tomorrow’s final.

It will probably be the fastest field ever for a World or Olympic final but I'm looking forward to it.

And Goddard dedicated his performance to the British Gas GBR Swimming Team physios who turned around his fortunes after a niggling shoulder injury threatened to curtail his World Championship aspirations.

"That wasn't a bad swim and obviously I'm really pleased to make the final," said Goddard, who finished sixth in the same race at the last World Championships in Rome two years ago.

"It's a pretty strong field, probably the fastest there has ever been in a World or Olympic final, but I'm looking forward to tomorrow night now.

"I have to say a big thank you to the physios for working on me in the last two weeks. They've really worked hard on my shoulder and got me into a position where I've made a World Championship final."

Commonwealth bronze medallist Georgia Davies missed out on a debut World Championship final by just 0.07 seconds after finishing 10th in the 50m Backstroke semi finals.

The 20-year old Welsh record holder, who trains at the British Gas ITC Swansea, set the second fastest time of her career of 28.26 to finish fifth in her semi but fell agonisingly short of Emily Seebohm who progressed eighth fastest in 28.19.

"I didn't expect to be here at all so I'm really pleased," said Davies. "Although I'm disappointed with that time, it's all about experience.

"I've got to stay focused and train hard and hopefully I'll be back next year on top form."

Meanwhile, 100m Backstroke world record holder Gemma Spofforth finished seventh in the same semi final and 13th overall after clocking 28.75.

The 23-year old also failed to make the final in the defence of her 100m title earlier in the week but refused to make excuses for her below-par performances in Shanghai and insisted she was determined to be back to her best in time for London 2012.

“This has been a tough year for me,” said Spofforth. “My head’s not been in the right place and it’s shown this week.

“There are no excuses for my performance though – it wasn’t good enough.

“I’ve thought long and hard about my future this week and I’m 100 per cent committed to trying to make the team for London.”

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