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Jemma Lowe is missing old foes’ pressure

August 17, 2013
Jemma Lowe

Jemma Lowe

Hartlepool-born Jemma Lowe charged into the 200m butterfly final at the British Championships in Sheffield – then admitted that she missed the pressure of her traditional rivals.

The Welsh record holder cut a lonely figure in her first major outing since Melbourne-based Ellen Gandy’s post-London 2012 decision to swim for Australia instead of Britain and the retirement of Lowe’s former Borough of Stockton training partner Jess Dickons.

Lowe, 23,  recorded a world championship qualifying time of 2min 08.79 as she won her semi  by almost two seconds.

Olympic finalist Lowe, who trains at British Swimming’s Swansea intensive training centre, said: “I thought it might be a easier with a bit less pressure but I’m actually finding it harder. Normally I’m battling with the others to get a place on the team.

“Normally I have someone to push me but now I’m doing it on my own. I’ve always been someone who can push myself hard when swimming on my own so that’s what I’m having to do. It’s hard to say if I would have swum faster with the others in the race.

“I really miss Ellen. We’re really good friends.”

Paralympic champion Josef Craig became the first multi-disability gold medallist of the championships. South Tyneside’s 16-year-old S7 category swimmer was the only finalist to exceed 907 British disability points as he recorded 1min 02.30sec in the multi-classification final.

The points system relates to the swimmer’s disability level as well as their time.

City of Sunderland’s S9 swimmer Matthew Wylie came fourth in the same final with 745 points for a time of 1:01.00.

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