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Jamieson beats himself up to capture silver

Michael Jamieson displayed all the hunger and desire that drove him to Olympic silver as he banished the memory of a "hopeless" morning swim to finish second in the 200 metres breaststroke at the World Short Course Championships in Istanbul.

Michael Jamieson en route to a silver medal and a British record  in the 200m breaststroke  in Istanbul.  Picture: Getty
Michael Jamieson en route to a silver medal and a British record in the 200m breaststroke in Istanbul. Picture: Getty

It was Britain's third medal of the five-day competition after Hannah Miley and Jemma Lowe had claimed gold and bronze respectively on the first day. It was also hard-fought given the 24-year-old Glaswegian had only squeezed into the final as the slowest qualifier.

The Bath ITC swimmer's frustration was clear yesterday morning but that is symptomatic of the hunger that helped drive him on when he was living in Paris without funding in an attic room so small he could stand in the middle and touch both walls and with a shower that doubled as a wardrobe.

Coming into the race it was his team-mate Andrew Willis who stood out, qualifying fourth with a new English record.

Last night's line-up was loaded with quality and the pair needed to be at their best to be in the mix. With 50m to go, Jamieson was second and Willis third.

The Scot dug in, holding off the fast-finishing Russian Viatcheslav Sinkevich to lower his own British record to 2min 03sec and claim the silver. It also took more than three seconds off the time he had swum in the morning, one he described as "hopeless".

Willis was overhauled to finish fifth in 2:03.29, 0.21secs off the podium.

Jamieson said: "It just goes to show the power of psychology. After I came out of that heat I didn't even want to swim the final after seeing the result, I was just so annoyed.

"But I just went back and dressed myself down a bit; it goes to show you can race best times unrested. I just went for it tonight. It was a bonus to get in so I just decided to go for it from the start."

The race was won in a championship record of 2:01.35 by Hungary's Daniel Gyurta, who set a world record in holding off Jamieson at the Olympics, which was subsequently lowered by Akihiro Yamaguchi, fourth last night.

Jamieson added: "I'm getting there; I've got a collection of silver medals and the next stage is to change the colour of that. But Dan [Gyurta] is untouchable just now; it's about time someone closed that gap on him. I'd love to see his medal cabinet . . .

"Fair play to him, he's been the man to beat in the last few years and he is running away with titles at the minute."

Jamieson and Willis train together and the latter said: "There is definitely part of me that wants to be keeping up with him or beating him at the same time."

Another Bath swimmer, Lizzie Simmonds, was fifth in the 200m backstroke in 2:04.55. The women's 4x100m medley relay finished fourth in a British record of 3:51.85, Jaz Carlin was fifth in the 400m freestyle (4:02.45) and Sophie Allen finished sixth in the 100m individual medley (59.03).

Ryan Lochte, the 11-time Olympic medallist, lowered his world record in the 200m individual medley to 1:49.63.

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