Jemma Lowe sixth in Olympic 200 metre butterfly final as China’s Liuyang Jiao gets gold

SIXTH PLACE:  Jemma Lowe
SIXTH PLACE: Jemma Lowe

JEMMA Lowe produced one of her bravest and most positive swims of her career when finishing sixth in the Olympic 200 metre butterfly final.

The Hartlepool swimmer clocked two minutes 6.8 seconds in her second Olympic final, having finished sixth in the 100 metre butterfly showpiece in Beijing four years earlier.

J Lo said after the race: “I gave it everything but it wasn’t my day today.

“I’ve had a brilliant time – it’s my second Olympics and to swim in front of a home crowd was fantastic.”

Drawn in lane eight as the slowest qualifier of the eight-woman field, the 22-year-old had hoped to surprise the fastest swimmers in the middle lanes.

And the way she started at the London Aquatic Centre it seemed that her bold approach could pay off.

After the opening 50 metres, J Lo was in a podium position, touching in third spot, just 0.28 seconds behind the leader.

And the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist maintained her strong rhythm by staying in third at the halfway point, only half a second adrift of leader Mireia Garcia, from Spain.

But the big guns came to the fore in the second half of the race and as J Lo came down the home straight she was in a battle for the fourth, fifth and sixth positions.

Her great effort ended with her touching in sixth place (2:06.80).

China’s Liuyang Jiao struck gold in an Olympic record of 2:04.06 for her country’s 17th gold medal of London 2012.

Garcia was second in 2:05.25 with Japan’s Natsumi Hoshi third (2:05.48). American duo Kathleen Hersey and Cammile Adams were fourth and fifth.

Lowe said she was amazed by the support of the passion of the sell-out 17,500 audience at the arena.

“The crowd was absolutely brilliant,” she told BBC TV’S Sharron Davies.