HARTLEPOOL star Jemma Lowe will take on the world’s fastest swimmers this weekend as she continues her bid for Olympic glory.
The World Championships in China represent the next step in the 21-year-old’s quest to make it through to London 2012.
But the Butterfly specialist, who will compete over 100m and 200m, will be up against some of the planet’s best when she takes to the pool in Shanghai.
Lowe recorded the fifth fastest time over 100m this year when she set a new Personal Best of 57.43secs at the British National Championships last month.
But Chinese star Zige Liu will be favourite to take gold on home waters.
Australia’s Alicia Coutts, who rose to prominence with five gold medals at last year’s Commonwealth Games, is the currently top of the world rankings and is another who will be expecting a podium finish at the very least.
The 100m semi-final takes place tomorrow with the final on Monday, and Jemma’s dad Mike knows that his daughter faces stiff competition to return with a medal.
“We’re going to Shanghai with three separate goals really,” he told SportMail having flown out to the Far East to offer his support.
“Number one is to set new Personal Best times.
“If you’re doing that then you’re heading in the right direction and you can’t ask any more.
“Secondly she wants to get to the final of both events and we think she has a very good chance of doing that.
“You can’t be complacent, though, because the majority of girls here will be hoping for the same thing.
“And lastly she probably wants to a bit of metal to show off when she comes home – that is aspirational but it is definitely possible.”