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World medals for Halsall and Lowe as Brits finish on a high
Fran Halsall and Jemma Lowe scooped final day medals as the British Gas
GBR Swimming Team ended the 2012 World Short Course Championships in
Istanbul with six medals from the five-day meet.
Halsall, competing in her only individual event of the Championships,
stormed home to silver in the 50m Freestyle less than 30 minutes after
Lowe had struck her second medal of the week with 100m Butterfly bronze.
Having qualified joint fourth fastest, Halsall sliced more than half a
second off her qualification time to claim silver in 23.87 behind
Belarus' Aliaksandra Herasimenia.
And after beating respective long and short course 100m Freestyle world
champions Jeanette Ottesen Gray and Britta Steffen in the final, the
British Gas ITC Loughborough swimmer admitted the result had proved a
big confidence boost ahead of the 2013 season.
"It's a nice feeling to get a medal again and be in amongst it," said
Halsall, who finished fifth in the 50m Free and sixth in the 100m Free
at London 2012. "After a tough summer and a bit of a confidence knock,
it's good to come here and get a medal. It's definitely a step in the
"I knew I was swimming fast because my 100 relay split was 51.9 the
other night. Doing the relay first helped because it got me into the
meet and racing again with a bit of confidence.
"I had a bit of a ropey day yesterday because I was a bit tired but I
just wanted to get out tonight and enjoy it. I wanted to enjoy the crowd
and being in this kind of situation again.
"It's been a while since I've been in this situation and remembered how
brilliant it is and that it's what I love to do. I'm back to being me
Having captured 200m Butterfly bronze on the opening day of the
Championships, British Gas ITC Swansea swimmer Lowe took 0.01 off her
Welsh record to repeat the feat over half the distance.
The 22-year old came home in 56.66 to win the eighth international short
course medal of her career behind Italy's Ilaria Bianchi (56.13) and
China's Liu Zige (56.58).
"I'm over the moon with that result," said Lowe. "It's my best time by
0.01 which is only a little bit but a best time is a best time.
"We had only started speed work in training for a week before this
competition so I wasn't sure how my speed was going to be but I knew my
200 was good because I did a best time in that.
"I just gave it my best tonight because I knew it was going to be a real
"Obviously I said I haven't rested much for this and I'm really positive
about how I'm doing now. So I'm going to get back into training, keep
doing what I'm doing -thinking positive and really enjoying myself. I'm
looking forward to next year."
Lowe's British Gas ITC Swansea teammate and training partner Georgia
Davies was just 0.06 seconds shy of landing her first World Championship
medal as she finished fourth in the 50m Backstroke.
Having set a British record 26.84 to progress from last night's semi
finals, Davies lowered the marker to 26.56 but was touched out of the
podium places by Poland's Aleksandra Urbanczyk in third.
"Fourth sucks but I'm really thrilled with the time," said Davies, who
was fifth in the 100m Backstroke earlier in the meet.
"It's quicker than I expected. This is a World Championships and
although it's short course, fourth is a great position to finish. I went
into the 100 final thinking I could sneak a medal and then it didn't
quite happen and I didn't go as quickly as I wanted to. But I love the
50. It's such a fun race with no tactics and you go all out from the
start and I didn't put any pressure on myself to get any place or
"I'm sure I'm not ready to swim PBs long course just yet but this meet
has definitely raised my confidence ready for a tough bit of training
now for the new season and trials for the World Champs in the summer."
With two medals for Hannah Miley (400m IM gold, 200m IM bronze) and
another for Michael Jamieson (200m Breaststroke silver), the British Gas
GBR Swimming Team finished their campaign with six medals and Head Coach
Dave McNulty insisted the team had surpassed his expectations at the
"I'm really pleased with the set of results from this Championships,"
said McNulty. "I would have been happy with two, three or four medals
but to come away with six is fantastic.
"I really wanted the swimmers to have more belief and that 'can do'
attitude and I've been very impressed with them this week."