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Podium joy In Poland for British swimmers

8 December 2011

The British girls took the opening day of the 2011 European Short Course Championships by storm with Jemma Lowe, Hannah Miley and Jess Dickons all reaching the podium in Poland.

Lowe is rapidly developing into one of the most reliable performers in the British Gas GBR Swimming team and underlined her class by taking 200m Butterfly silver.

Having qualified third fastest from the morning heats, the British Gas ITC Swansea swimmer was just 0.1 second shy of her British record as she stormed to silver in 2:04.04.

"This meet is part of our preparations for British Gas Swimming Champs in March and then hopefully onto the Olympics," - Jemma LoweThe 21-year old is no stranger to the short course podium, having won bronze at the 2008 Europeans and silver at the World Championships in Dubai over the same distance 12 months ago.

And Lowe admitted the result had boosted her confidence further ahead of the all-important Olympic year.

“I’m really pleased with that. I was confident going into tonight’s final after a good swim in the heats,” said Lowe. “There are a lot of good Fly swimmers Britain at the moment so it drives us all to go faster.

“This meet is part of our preparations for British Gas Swimming Champs in March and then hopefully onto the Olympics.”

Spain’s world short course champion Mireia Belmonte Garcia won gold in 2:03.37 while Dickons took bronze in a desperate dash to the wall.

The British Gas ITC Bath swimmer has re-found her form since lifting 200m Butterfly gold at this summer’s World University Games and broke her own English record to claim her medal in 2:04.80.

“It’s been three years since I broke my personal best (PB) and I have done it a few times now, last week in Eindhoven and then today,” said Dickons, who broke her long course 200m Butterfly PB in Eindhoven last week.

“I haven’t really been in the picture in the past few years and I just wanted to swim well in the final here. I knew it would be a tough field so I’m so happy.”

Hannah Miley kicked off her busy schedule in Poland on a high note, winning 200m Individual Medley bronze.

"I'm not usually a speed demon and I have been working on that. What a great start to the week," - Hannah MileyThe Scottish swimmer insisted she had come to the meet with relatively low expectations but clocked her fastest time in two years to take bronze in 2:08.34.

“I'm so pleased with that, that's the fastest time I've done in a textile suit,” said Miley, who is due to compete on every day of the Championships.

“I'm not usually a speed demon and I have been working on that. What a great start to the week.”

Adam Brown was Great Britain’s fourth individual finalist on day one in Poland, finishing fifth in the 50m Freestyle.

The sprint-specialist touched in 21.37 for his first personal best in two years in the heats, before progressing through the rounds to the final.

“It’s been a tough day for me, 5 x 50m freestyle sprints,” said Brown, who finished the final in 21.41.

“I’m really pleased with my time from this morning.  It was good to get a new personal best.

“I haven’t swum short course for a while, so I’m really happy to be back in the British team. It’s all good preparation for the British Gas Champs in March.

“Moving back to the UK has made a positive difference, this isn’t a benchmark meet for British Swimming but I wanted to come here and swim fast.”

The men’s 4x50m Medley relay quartet of Chris Walker-Hebborn, Michael Jamieson, Antony James and Adam Brown ended the night for the British team, finishing fifth in the final in 1:35.07.

Meanwhile, there were a number of encouraging performances from British swimmers in semi final action.

Having set a personal best 52.67 in the heats, Amy Smith was the fastest qualifier for tomorrow's 100m Freestyle final after clocking 52.75 to win her semi. Rebecca Turner also reached the final after setting her second personal best of the day, 53.69, to qualify eighth fastest.

Welsh swimmer Georgia Davies progressed third fastest from the 100m Backstroke semis, breaking her own national record in the process.

Davies had broken her record with her heat time of 58.29 but went faster again, winning her semi final in 57.72.

Michael Jamieson has also progressed to the 100m Breaststroke final. After swimming a personal best in the heats, and again in the semi final the 200m specialist goes through to tomorrow’s final ranked eighth with his time of 58.66.

Andrew Willis joined Jamieson in the semi finals after qualifying in a new personal best time in the heats of 59.35 and finished in 15th overall.

Finally, Stacey Tadd’s personal best of 32.01 was good enough for 19th in the 50m Breaststroke and Antony James clocked 52.32 to finish in 15th place in the 100m Butterfly semi finals.

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