Jubilant Jamieson Adds Second Medal to Team GB's London 2012 Swimming TallyThursday 02 August 2012 at 11:27
Michael Jamieson rolled back the years last night and re-ignited on Great Britain's historic Olympic tradition in men's breast stroke as he won a brilliant silver over 200m at the London Aquatics Centre.
Such luminaries as David Wilkie, Duncan Goodhew and Adrian Moorhouse have all clinched Olympic gold medals at breast stroke, but since Nick Gillingham's bronze in Barcelona 20 years ago, there has been a somewhat barren period for Britain's men.
That all changed last night as Jamieson came within 0.15 seconds of gold, but his fantastic silver medal behind Hungary's Daniel Gyurta was achieved in his third British record of the Games as he stopped the clock in 2:07.43. Gyurta's winning time of 2:07.28 was a world record by 0.03 seconds.
The 23 year old Scot's medal was timely as podium success for Team GB's swimmers has proved hard to come with more fancied athletes such as Hannah Miley, Liam Tancock and Ellen Gandy have all failing in their bids to add to Rebecca Adlington's 400m freestyle bronze on Sunday.
Prior to the Olympics, Jamieson has not been talked of as a medal hope for Team GB, which makes his success in London even more satisfying. Prior to the trials in March, the Glasgow born swimmer had not even swum under 2:10. That barrier was broken as he took silver in this event in 2:09.84 behind Andrew Willis, who placed 8th in last night's final. An inauspicious 12th place finish at the European Championships in May did little to suggest he would be would even be a contender for the Olympic final.
However, Jamieson arrived at the London Aquatics Centre this week looking like a different athlete. After narrowly missing out on a place in the 100m breast stroke final, he came back strongly in his 200m heat, placing second to Gyurta in a British record of 2:08.98. He followed this up with a further improvement, winning his semi-final and leading the qualifiers for the Olympic final with 2:08.20.
This placed the Bath ITC man firmly in contention for an Olympic medal as he lined up for last night's final. And it was so nearly a gold as Jamieson produced a storming last 50m, whipping the cheering crowd into a frenzy as he pushed Gyurta to a new world record.
Jamieson said: "This result is what I have prepared for for I don't know how many years. It's only in really the last 18 months it's become a target and not just a pipe dream. I think that's probably why I was quite calm before the race, there weren't too many nerves, just excitement. I think that is because I had gone over it so many times in my head, I'd prepared for it in every way I could really."
With Jamieson's Bath team mate Andrew Willis also setting personal best times in reaching the Olympic final, it would appear that a return to Britain's glory days at breast stroke in the run up to Rio 2016 is on the cards.
There were more gallant Olympic final performances from Team GB's swimmers last night as Jemma Lowe battled hard in the 200m butterfly, eventually winding up 7th. The women's 4x 200m freestyle relay team, lacking Adlington who was rested for today's 800m heats, placed fifth. Anchored by what is likely to be a swansong Olympic performance for Beijing bronze medallist Jo Jackson, they clocked a respectable 7:52.37 as the United States were convincing winners, ahead of Australia and France.
Francesca Halsall scraped into the 100m freestyle final in equal 7th, and will need to improve significantly if she is to fulfill her medal potential tonight.
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