JEMMA Lowe must pick herself up and “go again” at the Commonwealth Games.
The Hartlepool swimmer was today on the floor after suffering a depressing night in Glasgow.
J Lo finished sixth in the final of the 100 metres butterfly at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre – almost a full second outside the medals.
The 24-year-old admitted after qualifying in fifth place on Thursday evening that she would need an injection of pace for the showpiece and a sub 58-second time.
But the Wales swimmer could only post 58.63 seconds – slower than her times the previous day – and trailed in behind gold medal winner Katerine Savard (57.40), Siobhan O’Connor (57.45) and Emma McKeon (57.66).
Lowe has pulled out of today’s 50m butterfly and will be back in the pool on Monday for her favourite distance – the 200.
“It wasn’t great,” said Lowe. “I gave it my best shot, but it just wasn’t there.
“My thoughts have to turn to the 200 now. I still don’t know what my best event is so hopefully I’ll do well in that.
“I’ve done well in it before and hopefully it’s going to be better than this one.
“I’m frustrated – I’ve done all the training and lived the right life and I need to try to work it out why it’s not happening.”
Hopefully she can put the disappointment behind her and come back strongly in the four-length event which she has performed well in throughout her career.
On Tuesday she will make her final Commonwealth Games appearance in the team relay.
Dad Mike told SportMail that it is a difficult situation for the swimmer, family and friends after she also finished sixth in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic finals.
But with a medal shot on Monday to come no-one can be down for too long.
Mike said: “It is another disappointment to deal with and Jemma is trying to make sense of it.
“I think Jemma found it hard beforehand not getting the time she’d have liked on Thursday night.
“She got herself pumped up for the race but it wasn’t there.”
Many athletes are often their biggest critics and J Lo is probably no different.
But the nine-times World and European shortcourse championship medallist needs to remember that she has missed a large chunk of training with a stress fracture of her arm – for a swimmer, all those miles after miles in the training pool is vital.
The Lowe camp were not looking for any excuses though Mike added: “Perhaps the injury has taken a bigger toll than we thought?”
Whatever the reasons for finishing outside the medals, Jemma must quickly bury the disappointment. Doubtless Olympic bronze medallist Alicia Coutts will be suffering the same anguish in the competitors village today in Glasgow.
The 28-year-old Aussie was the defending champion and favourite, only to be beaten into fourth by compatriot McKeon, with Savard finishing strongly to pip English teen sensation O’Connor for the gold.
It was ironic that all three medallists from Delhi in 2010 reached the final but none made the podium last night – Coutts in fourth, Lowe sixth and Ellen Gandy, who beat J Lo to the silver four years ago, finishing last.
Sitting out the 50 metre sprint today looks a wise move by the former High Tunstall College of Science and English Martyrs Sixth Form College student.
“She spoke to her coach,” Mike explained. “She may have made the semis but the stroke-rate for the 50 is totally different so would that have helped her for the 200? Probably not.
“Jemma is frustrated and upset but the 200 is still to come and she must dust herself down and go again.”
Last night’s final was an exciting one with a strong battle in the middle lanes, where O’Connor led Savard and Coutts at the turn.
Savard finished the better to snatch gold, with McKeon putting in a good burst to defeat Coutts.
For Lowe, she could not get close to going under 58 seconds, the time she knew was needed to get in the mix for the medals.
She was pipped to fifth by England’s Rachael Kelly (58.61).
Canada’s Audrey Lacroix was seventh with Gandy last.