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Michael Jamieson wins 200m breaststroke silver at World Short-Course Championships in Istanbul

Jamieson follows up Olympic silver with second-placed finish at World Short-Course Championships

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UPDATED:

00:19 GMT, 15 December 2012

Michael Jamieson displayed all the hunger and desire that drove him to Olympic silver as he banished the memory of a 'hopeless' morning swim to finish second in the 200 metres breaststroke at the World Short-Course Championships in Istanbul.

It was Great Britain's third medal of the five-day competition after Hannah Miley and Jemma Lowe had claimed gold and bronze respectively on the first day at the Sinan Erdem Dome.

It was also hard-fought given the 24-year-old had only squeezed into the final as the slowest qualifier.

Jamieson was the slowest qualifier for the final after a disappointing morning

Jamieson was the slowest qualifier for the final after a disappointing morning

The Bath ITC swimmer's frustration was clear this morning but that is symptomatic of the hunger that helped drive him on when he was living in Paris without funding in an attic room so small he could stand in the middle and touch both walls and with a shower that doubled as a wardrobe.

Coming into the race it was his team-mate Andrew Willis who stood out, a new English record seeing him qualify fourth.

Tonight's line-up was loaded with quality and the pair needed to be at their best to be in the mix and with 50m to go, Jamieson was second and Willis third.

The Scot dug in, holding off the fast-finishing Russian Viatcheslav Sinkevich to lower his own British record to two minutes 03.00 seconds and claim the silver.

The Scot added World Short-Course silver to his Olympic silver medal

The Scot added World Short-Course silver to his Olympic silver medal

It also took more than three seconds off the time he had swum this morning, one he had described as 'hopeless'.

Willis was overhauled to finish fifth in 2:03.29, 0.21secs off the podium.

Jamieson said: 'It just goes to show the power of psychology.

'To be honest, after I came out of that heat I didn't even want to swim the final after seeing the result, I was just so annoyed.

'But I just went back and dressed myself down a bit – it goes to show you can race best times unrested.

'I just went it for it tonight – it was a bonus to get in so I just decided to go for it from the start.

'I didn't want to lose I guess.'

Britain's Lizzie Symonds finished fifth in the 200m backstroke

Britain's Lizzie Symonds finished fifth in the 200m backstroke

USA's Ryan Lochte was in a league of his own as he broke his 200m medley world record

USA's Ryan Lochte was in a league of his own as he broke his 200m medley world record

The race was won in a new championship record of 2:01.35 by Hungary's Daniel Gyurta, who set a world record in holding off Jamieson at the Olympics, although that was subsequently lowered by Akihiro Yamaguchi, fourth here.

Jamieson added: 'I'm getting there – I've got a collection of silver medals, the next stage is to change the colour of that.

'But Dan (Gyurta) is untouchable just now – it's about time someone closed that gap on him, I'd love to see his medal cabinet, it seems to be growing all the time.

'But fair play to him, he's been the man to beat in the last few years and he is running away with titles at the minute.'

Jamieson and Willis train alongside each other and the latter said: “There is definitely part of me that wants to be keeping up with him or beating him at the same time.

'I think deep down we're pretty competitive against each other in training and it's great, at the same time to have someone to push you.

'He is a great swimmer, he's got the medals coming in now and that is what I should be learning from.'

Another Bath swimmer, Lizzie Simmonds, was fifth in the 200m backstroke in 2:04.55.

The 21-year-old was fourth in London, after which she moved from Loughborough to embark upon a completely different training programme.

The women's 4x100m medley relay finished fourth in a British record of 3:51.85.

Jaz Carlin was fifth in the 400m freestyle (4:02.45) and Sophie Allen finished sixth in the 100m individual medley (59.03).

Ryan Lochte, the 11-time Olympic medallist, was a world apart as he lowered his own world record in the 200m individual medley to 1:49.63.

Hannah Miley beats Ye Shiwen to gold in 400m medley at World Short-Course Championships and Lowe wins bronze

Miley beats Olympic champion Ye to win gold and Lowe bags bronze at World Short-Course Championships

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UPDATED:

21:11 GMT, 12 December 2012

Hannah Miley held off Olympic champion Ye Shiwen to claim Great Britain's first gold medal of the World Short-Course Championships when she won the 400 metres individual medley in Istanbul.

Ye was at the centre of the biggest controversy in the pool at the 2012 Olympics as her freestyle leg en route to victory in the eight-length event almost defied belief.

In London the Chinese teenager was just three hundredths of a second slower over the final 100m than Ryan Lochte, winner of the men's race.
Indeed her last 50m was faster than four in the men's final, including Lochte and Thiago Pereira, the gold and silver medallists.

Earlier Jemma Lowe won Britain's first medal at the event by finishing third in the 200
metres butterfly.

Take that: Miley (left) held off a late rally from Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen

Take that: Miley (left) held off a late rally from Chinese sensation Ye Shiwen

Miley, fifth in London, had qualified fastest into the final, but predicted it would be a different race come the final, claiming the Chinese teenager was 'playing' in the heats.

Fourth after the butterfly and backstroke legs, Miley then produced a superb breaststroke to turn first going into the freestyle, 2.04 seconds ahead of Ye.

However, as expected, Ye came back and on her final 25m of 28.14 secs, the only sub 29-second last length in the field, she reeled Miley in.

The Scot, though, was breathing to her right where she could see her rival, whom she held off by 0.19s to win in a new championship record of four minutes 23.14 seconds, the fastest ever in a textile suit, bettering her own mark from the European Championship last month.

Hanging on: Miley turned into the freestyle leg 2.04 seconds ahead of Ye and held on to win by 0.19 seconds

Hanging on: Miley turned into the freestyle leg 2.04 seconds ahead of Ye and held on to win by 0.19 seconds

The 23-year-old 'was hanging on for dear life' and admitted the achievement had significance for both her and her father and coach Patrick, vindicating their approach after the Olympics.

Miley said: 'A lot of top athletes aren't here so for me I see it as an opportunity and any opportunity I see I try and take it.

'So for me I was aiming for it to be a confidence booster for both myself and my dad and what we are doing this season.

'Not only were we trying to chase placings, but also to do a really good time which I was really happy with.

'But the main thing is long-course (50m) swimming so I am really happy with what I've done, but for me I am not going to be happy with it until I can prove I can do it long course as well.

'Hindsight is a great thing and lots of people have cliches and I was genuinely was happy with that swim, but for me I probably wouldn't be the athlete I am standing here today doing those times if the Olympics hadn't have happened.'

Golden girl: Miley (centre) poses with her gold medal in Istanbul

Golden girl: Miley (centre) poses with her gold medal in Istanbul

Lowe secured Britain's first medal in Istanbul as she won bronze in the 200m butterfly.

The 22-year-old swam from lane one after qualifying seventh, meaning she had no idea of how the expected leaders were faring.

However, that had little bearing on the Swansea ITC swimmer who touched in two minutes 3.19 seconds. It was also a national record for Lowe, who lowered her own 2010 mark, the Briton leading after 150m before being overtaken by Hungarian Katinka Hosszu and 2012 Olympic champion Jiao Liuyang.

All smiles: Jemma Lowe (right) picked up the bronze in the 200m butterfly

All smiles: Jemma Lowe (right) picked up the bronze in the 200m butterfly

Lowe said: 'I'm really pleased with that. I didn't know what to expect after this morning when I was in that slow heat by myself and I just scraped into the final.

'Because I have won a medal previously at world short course I was really determined to get up there, so I just gave it my very best tonight and I can't believe how it worked out.'

There was no such satisfaction for Michael Jamieson, the Olympic 200m breaststroke silver medallist.

The Glaswegian was thoroughly frustrated, despite setting a new personal best of 58.56s in the 100m breaststroke.

He said: 'It's the same old story on the 100 – I just can't keep up with the bigger guys.

Powerhouse: Lowe put in a solid performance to pick up Britain's first medals

Powerhouse: Lowe put in a solid performance to pick up Britain's first medals

'It's frustrating – it's the fastest I have ever been but I am getting to the stage with the 200m that if I am ever going to improve then my 100 needs to come down.'

That was in contrast to Georgia Davies, another Swansea ITC swimmer, who set a personal best of 57.41s to qualify third for the 100m backstroke final.

Lizzie Simmonds was 10th in 58.34s, although her focus is on the 200m since her move to Bath ITC.

LONDON OLYMPICS 2012: Jenny Meadows pulls out of 800m in Helsinki

Olympic blow for Meadows as she pulls out of 800m in Helsinki

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UPDATED:

08:44 GMT, 28 June 2012

Pulling out: Jenny Meadows

Pulling out: Jenny Meadows

The Olympic dreams of Britain's Jenny Meadows suffered a massive blow on Thursday when she was forced to withdraw from the European Championships in Helsinki.

Meadows, who won bronze in the 800m at the World Championships in Berlin in 2009, has not raced all year due to injury, but was hoping to prove her fitness here before the Olympic squad is selected on Monday.

However, the 31-year-old Wigan athlete suffered a reaction to her Achilles injury on the journey to Finland and will not compete in the semi-finals.

The UK Athletics selection panel will not select any athlete 'who it has good reason to think will be uncompetitive at the Games due to, for example, injury, illness or lack of recent form,' but previous championship performances can also be considered and Meadows will score strongly on that point.

The good news for Meadows is that there are currently still three places available on the team after Marilyn Okoro and Emma Jackson, who could have sealed a place by finishing in the top two at the weekend's trials, were fifth and seventh.

Lynsey Sharp and Jemma Simpson, who were first and second in Birmingham respectively, could fill two places by recording the 'A' standard of one minute 59.90 seconds in Helsinki, but whatever happens there will be at least one spot up for grabs.

'It has been a battle to get back to full fitness after suffering an Achilles tear earlier this year,' Meadows said. 'I have never been fitter, having spent all winter training on the bike or the Alter-G (an anti-gravity treadmill) and mentally I was ready to come here and compete for a medal.

Disappointment: Meghan Beesley failed to progress in the 400m hurdles

Disappointment: Meghan Beesley failed to progress in the 400m hurdles

Tears: Sally Peake is consoled after failing to qualify for the pole vault final

Tears: Sally Peake is consoled after failing to qualify for the pole vault final

'But my injury seems to have reacted badly to the flight and whilst we all genuinely believed I would be ready to get to the start line, this setback means I'm so close yet so far. I know I'm selectable based on my previous seven 'A' standards, but it is no longer in my control.'

Elsewhere in Helsinki on Thursday morning, Meghan Beesley finished last in her semi-final
of the 400m hurdles, while Sally Peake failed to make the pole vault
final after clearing just 4.15m.

Peake was in tears after the disappointment, on the second day of an event that has only brought one bright spot for British athletics so far, a fine 5,000 win for Mo Farah on Wednesday night.

London Olympics 2012 Lynsey Sharp out to emulate her father Cameron

Sharp Lynsey out to emulate her father Cameron as Olympic dream draws closer

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UPDATED:

23:11 GMT, 26 June 2012

Twenty-nine years after her father last competed in the famous Olympic Stadium here in Helsinki, Lynsey Sharp will try this week at the European Championships to follow in his footsteps by becoming an Olympian.

Cameron Sharp, a Commonwealth champion who raced in the 100 and 200 metres at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, sprinted here at the first World Championships in 1983 against the likes of Carl Lewis and narrowly missed out on a place in the final.

Fractions may also come into it for 800m runner Lynsey, 21, a graduate in law last week from Edinburgh’s Napier University. She has to beat 1min 59.60sec to confirm an Olympic place partially earned when she won last weekend’s GB trials race. But there is more in it than time.

On track: Law graduate Sharp is hoping for selection

On track: Law graduate Sharp is hoping for selection

There are three blondes in the same British boat here. She must also beat world bronze medallist Jenny Meadows and four-time British champion Jemma Simpson — a scenario common throughout a British team more concerned with Olympic places than European medals.

In a team of 80, Mo Farah is the only Briton exclusively concerned with winning a medal. He defends his 5,000m title today as part of a competitive programme to prepare him for London. In every other event in which Britain is represented, the priority is the competition for places in the team being chosen next Monday.

However, none among the women’s events is quite like the 800m. Another blonde, Emma Jackson, has the selection A standard but broke a rib two weeks ago and, on painkillers, finished nowhere in the trials and is unable to run here.

On target: Sharp wins the 800m in Birmingham

On target: Sharp wins the 800m in Birmingham

But if there is a private story guaranteed to win the sympathy vote it belongs to Sharp, whose father was physically and mentally disabled by a car crash in 1991 and, with the help of Lynsey’s mother Carol, another international runner, had to learn to walk and talk again.

Lynsey is sponsored by the Edinburgh solicitors who won her father 1.5million in damages from the hospital that treated him. If she wins her Olympic place she plans to make as big an effort to get her dad the disabled pass he will need to watch her run in London.

Wise words: Dad Cameron

Wise words: Dad Cameron

His word to her about the Olympics was simple: ‘It’s like no other competition.’

But Lynsey said: ‘I am trying not to think about it and put pressure on myself. If somebody had told me a year ago that I would win the Olympic trials I would have laughed. I’m telling myself that I am still young. If it was my last chance at the end of my career I might be chasing the time more but I’m still young. There will be other Olympics…’

Not for Meadows, who spent two months in a special boot to recuperate from an achilles tendon tear. She is running her first race of the year in Thursday’s heats.

Just two weeks ago she had not run 800m in spikes even in training this year.

She comes with the good wishes of Sir Alex Ferguson, who allowed her to use an underwater treadmill at Manchester United’s training ground for rehabilitation.

Olympic trials are upon us… the moment all of our dreams will be defined

EXCLUSIVE: Olympic trials are upon us… the moment all of our dreams will be defined

Everything in the past few years has been about qualifying for London 2012 but by the end of this week, the Olympic dream will be over for a lot of people.

The trials for the Games start on Saturday at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, and, with just two places up for grabs for each event, there is so much pressure.

This is the week that decides your dream and I am desperate to make sure I qualify. It's just so tough racing against your friends for only a few places.

Time is ticking: Halsall is relishing the coming trials at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford

Time is ticking: Halsall is relishing the coming trials at the Aquatics Centre in Stratford

Decorated…

I'm thinking about getting my nails done to
take my mind off swimming, but the water washes it off.

Someone needs to invent nail varnish that stays on when you're swimming. If I qualify,
I'll get Union Flags painted on.

I remember from the trials for Beijing in 2008 how horrible it was seeing the people who didn't make the team – you can't comfort them because there is nothing you can say.

It is really emotional because for some people, if they don't make it, that's it, they'll retire. I'm entering three events. I've got the 100 metres butterfly on Saturday and Sunday and that will be the toughest event for me to qualify in.

Ellen Dandy and Jemma Lowe are in the top eight in the world. If I qualify for that, I can relax for my main events – the 50m and 100m freestyle. The 100m butterfly is a bit of a fun event and it's no real disaster if I don't qualify.

Reach the top: Halsall is aiming to improve on her performances in Beijing four years ago

Reach the top: Halsall is aiming to improve on her performances in Beijing four years ago

Delhi belly: Halsall and her team-mates will be taking their own food while staying in London

Delhi belly: Halsall and her team-mates will be taking their own food while staying in London

It helps that that event is up first
so I have some time to get used to the pool and the venue. It takes a
while to get used to the surroundings, where to go through security,
where you're staying and where to eat. It takes some adjustment.

This
is my first big competition since the World Championships at the end of
last year, where I was pretty upset at finishing fourth in my two
strongest events. I'd had surgery in the lead-up so I hadn't trained as
much as I'd have liked.

Despite that, I was gutted at missing out on a medal. I don't really cry when I'm upset, I just get angry and I couldn't sleep because I was so frustrated.

Luckily my coach Ben Titley is much more pragmatic and reminded me how far I'd come in such a short space of time since the injury.

Ready for action: The Aquatics Centre has already hosted the Diving World Championships

Ready for action: The Aquatics Centre has already hosted the Diving World Championships

The weeks leading up to an event are
the worst for boredom because you cut down the amount of training you
do so you are well rested. We reduce the metres we swim, and the
intensity of our training.

The
other morning, I had a proper lie-in till about 11.30am. I slept for 13
hours and was buzzing for the rest of the day. The big downside is that
you have too much free time to worry about your upcoming event.

Also,
when you spend so much time swimming, you start to feel really weird
when you're suddenly not in the water as much. We call it 'taper blues'
when you get into a rut with your body and struggle to cope with the
change in pace.

Red alert: Halsall is focused on the coming trials

Red alert: Halsall is focused on the coming trials

But I seem to be coming out the other end of that now – just in time for Saturday's racing. You have to keep yourself distracted so I've been watching so many movies.

I even got desperate enough to watch Evita and Mary Poppins in the same day. I need one of Mary's tape measures which tells me I'm practically perfect in every way.

One of my 'perfect' talents I'll be sharing with my team-mates in London is my cooking. You don't want to eat out for eight days in a row or you'll get out of shape so a group of us are cooking meals in advance, bringing them down with a microwave and heating them up in our hotel.

Lizzie Simmonds, Emma Wilkins and I are taking a mini fridge down too and making a chilli, a bolognaise, a risotto and a few other things. Our mums are going to bring food down, too.

In fact, my mum, my dad, my brother, my grandma, my grandad, my nana and my boyfriend are all coming down to see me – quite the crowd!

I'm responsible for the chilli. I make it medium but with a bit of a kick. What we're most worried about is making sure we reheat it all properly so we don't give each other food poisoning. We don't need tummy problems like in Delhi at the Commonwealth Games!