Hartlepool and Wales swimmer Jemma Lowe storms through to Commonwealth Games 200m butterfly final

GREAT SWIM: Jemma Lowe
GREAT SWIM: Jemma Lowe

JEMMA Lowe bounced back from her Commonwealth Games 100m butterfly disappointment in style today.

The Hartlepool and Wales swimmer qualified for the 200m butterfly final tonight as the second quickest in this morning’s heats in Glasgow.

Lowe clocked 2:09.28 in dominating the first heat at Tollcross International Swimming Centre – only Aussie wonderkid Maddie Groves going faster.

For the 24-year-old Poolie this was a brilliant response to Friday night’s sixth place finish in the 100 final.

J Lo was in lane five and had the 100 champion Katerine Savard next to her in the fourth lane, but the Welsh swimmer controlled the race superbly.

Lowe set off strongly and was 0.39 seconds ahead after the first length and by the halfway mark she had extended that lead over Savard to 0.81 seconds.

The three-times Commonwealth Games competitor continued to dominate and was 0.95 seconds up after 150 metres.

Jemma did not loosen her grip over the last length and won in 2:09.28, with her Welsh team-mate Alys Thomas (2:1.03) beat Canadian Savard (2:11.31).

Swimming in the first heat is always the most difficult – in swimming it’s the fastest eight times which qualify, not race positions in the heats.

The second heat was a battle between two old England team-mates – Middlesbrough’s Aimee Willmott snatching victory on the touch from Ellen Gandy, who now represents Australia.

Willmott won it in 2:09.60, just 0.36 seconds up on Gandy.

Heat three was the Maddie Groves show, the Aussie teenager winning in the fastest time (2:08.51) beating Canada’s Audrey Lacroix (2:09.58).

Groves goes into tonight’s final ranked first, with Lowe second, Lacroix third and Willmott fourth.