Jemma Lowe injury blow at national swimming championships

Jemma Lowe
Jemma Lowe

JEMMA Lowe has suffered a hiccup in her Olympic preparations.

The Hartlepool swimmer was forced to pull out of the first day of the British Gas ASA National Championships in Sheffield after something of a mystery injury.

Lowe suffered a neck spasm after swimming in a heat of the 200 metres freestyle at Ponds Forge yesterday morning.

She then withdrew from the 100 metres butterfly event, whose heats took place after the freestyle races.

Dad Mike, who was at the arena in South Yorkshire to cheer on his 22-year-old daughter, told SportMail that she pulled out as a precaution.

“She had some sort of spasm and could hardly move her neck,” Mike said.

“If she had to race she probably would have given it a go, but she’s in Sheffield just for some race practice so there is no point in taking any risks.

“I don’t think it is anything to worry about.

“Last night her neck still felt a little stiff but Jemma has been to see the physios who said it could take around 36 hours to settle down.

“She did get back in the water yesterday but only to do some leg kicks and no real arm work.”

Lowe is entered in the 200 metre butterfly at the final day of the British Gas ASA National Championships on Saturday, the distance she will be competing at in London next month.

“She is staying in Sheffield and she will see how she is before deciding whether to compete or not,” Mike added.

“We don’t know how this has come about.

“She’s been training hard in the gym and in the water and it could be an accumulation of things.”

Lowe was the 11th fastest finisher in the 200 metres freestyle heats, just missing out on the final, which was won last night by Rebecca Adlington.