Swimming star Jemma Lowe to get back in pool

HARTLEPOOL SWIMMER: Jemma Lowe, pictured with her award from Hartlepool Borough Council.
HARTLEPOOL SWIMMER: Jemma Lowe, pictured with her award from Hartlepool Borough Council.

JEMMA Lowe was today looking forward to getting back to work.

The Hartlepool swimmer will be back in the pool on Monday at the Intensive Training Centre in Swansea.

J Lo has enjoyed an extended break after her achievements at the Olympic games and this week was the guest of honour at a Civic reception.

The 22-year-old reached the final of the 200m butterfly in London, where she finished in sixth place, while she also helped the medley team reach the relay final.

But the only sight of water she has seen since has been on a sunshine holiday in Egypt.

“It was really nice to get away but I’ve come back with a bit of a tummy bug,” she told SportMail.

“It’s the biggest break I’ve ever had after a major competition.

“I think I needed it, it’s been a long four years building up to the Olympic games.

“It was great to have a break to chill the mind as much as anything.

“But I’m back in the water on Monday so I’m heading off to Swansea today.

“I’m really looking forward to it.

“I was a bit worried before [the Olympics] whether afterwards I’d still want to do it any more.

“But I’m really excited about getting back into the water again.”

So did the Commonwealth Games bronze medallist have any thoughts about calling it a day having appeared in two Olympic games.

“No definitely not,” she smiled.

“I usually get those feelings when I’m in the middle of a hard training programme and I’m feeling tired!

“But you carry on and when you get to the big competitions, like the Olympics, you realise all the hard work has been worth it.

“To experience the Olympics was incredible, I feel so lucky that it happened here during my lifetime.”

It would not be unfair to describe Team GB’s results in the London Aquatics Centre as disappointing.

Team GB finished the games on an amazing 57 medals, but only three came in the main pool – swimming bosses had targeted between five and seven.

J Lo, it would seem, fulfilled her part of the bargain by reaching her second Olympic final (she was also sixth in Beijing in 2008, but in the 100 metres).

She went into London as the fifth fastest in the world and ended sixth in the water.

On paper it looks a good achievement, especially given the fact that many of her team-mates missed out on the finals of their events.

But when she re-acquaints herself with coach Bud McAllister on Monday they may tweak a few things.

“I have not seen my coach for over a month now,” said the former High Tunstall College of Science and English Martyrs Sixth Form College student.

“He did not get selected for the Olympics which I was devastated about.

“I had done all the hard work with him and I wasn’t able to carry it on [in London].

“The result wasn’t what we wanted – if I had swum by [personal] best time I would have got bronze.

“When we sit down to discuss things we may change a few things but we’ll be carrying on.”

SEE Saturday’s Mail for full story