MICHAEL Jamieson admits he will need to raise the bar if he is to follow up his Olympic silver medal with a podium finish a year on at the World Championships.
Jamieson, who won Olympic 200m breaststroke silver at London 2012, only just made it into the semi-finals of the same event in Barcelona after clocking 2:11.47minutes in the heats. But the 24-year-old proved to the Palau Sant Jordi crowd why he is considered among the favourites to add a world medal to his Olympic one with a fine swim to advance to the final.
Jamieson touched home in 2:09.62 for third in the first of two semi-finals although British team-mate Andrew Willis took victory in that race after going over half a second quicker. But Jamieson, fifth quickest into the final, believes there is still plenty to do to finish on the podium – citing his time of 2:07.78 at last month’s British trials as a possible target.
“I felt a bit better in the evening than the morning and hopefully I’ll go quicker again in the final,” said Jamieson. “I’m experienced enough now to not worry about that [the swim in the heats]. As soon as it was finished that was it. I didn’t give myself the best lane draw but it forced me to stick to my own game plan so it was fine.
“I eased off a little bit towards the end, that was the plan, but for the final I’ll need to find something else. 2:09 is not going going to cut it for medals. I think the time I posted at the trials will be enough, definitely.”
Another Scot looking to impress in a final in Spain will be debutant Craig McNally after he made it into tonight’s 200m backstroke medal showdown.
The 20-year-old touched home in 1:56.97 in his semi-final for seventh overall and he claims bettering that effort is his aim. “Anything can happen and I was just hoping that I could get into the final,” said McNally. “I definitely think a drop [in time] can happen, I’ll analyse my swim and see what I can improve.”
Elsewhere Hannah Miley said she will be delving into the stats of her opening outing in preparation for a shot at a medal in her main event.
Miley, who claimed 400m medley silver at the worlds two years ago, goes in her favoured event on Sunday hoping to better the fifth she managed at the London 2012 Olympics. The 23-year-old’s first dip into the pool in Barcelona yesterday for the 200m breaststroke heats, though, offered her a precious chance to take stock. She clocked 2:28.15 on her way to 17th overall, one place shy from advancing to the semi-finals, but her 100m splits of 1:10.83 and 1:17.32 respectively were key.
“It was nice to do a non-pressured event to get into the meet,” said Miley. “I was trying to hold a little bit of distance on the stroke but I need to look at the analysis. Sometimes when you think you’re holding you’re actually revving it but I need to sit and look at it. I am intrigued to see what I went out in for my first 100m and the second 100m.” In other events, James Magnussen, who was viewed as a flop despite a silver medal at the London Olympics, rallied to win the 100m freestyle with a furious finishing kick, edging Americans Jimmy Feigen and Nathan Adrian.
After a disappointing start to the meet, Ryan Lochte looked more like himself last night, pulling away to capture gold in the 200m individual medley.
The Americans came through in the final event of the night, with Missie Franklin and Katie Ledecky leading the US team to victory in the 4x200m free relay in 7:45.14. The 18-year-old Franklin now has four golds from as many races in Barcelona, with three events to go. Ledecky, only 16, has three golds from three events with one race left.
In perhaps the biggest surprise of the night, Denmark’s Rikke Pedersen set a world record in the semi-finals of the women’s 200m breaststroke. She touched in 2:19.11, breaking the mark of 2:19.59 set by American Rebecca Soni at London 2012.
China added to their medal haul with a pair of golds and a silver. Liu Zige won the women’s 200m butterfly, edging the crowd favourite, Spain’s Mireia Belmonte. Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu took the bronze. The Chinese won gold and silver in the 50m backstroke, Zhao Jing claiming gold, with team-mate Fu Yuanhui securing the silver. The bronze went to Japan’s Aya Terakawa.
• Britain’s athletes are funded by UK Sport as the nation’s high performance sports agency responsible for the strategic investment of £355 million of National Lottery and Exchequer funding in Olympic and Paralympic sports preparing for Rio 2016. The ambition is to win more medals than in London 2012 while building a stronger more sustainable high performance system. www.uksport.gov.uk