By a Newsnet reporter
Scotland’s Michael Jamieson has qualified for the Olympic 200m breaststroke final with a fantastic swim that broke the British record.
The Glasgow born swimmer’s time of 2:08.20 was also the quickest of the qualifiers and sets the 23 year old up for what promises to be a gripping final as he bids for Olympic gold from the much coveted lane 4.
Jamieson, who swims with a blue cap under the red of team GB, will be joined in the final by close friend and training partner Andrew Willis. The Englishman swam a time of 2:08.47, which was third fastest and broke the English national record.
Both men took part in separate semi-finals with the Scot winning his heat. His semi-final time was over three quarters of a second quicker than his earlier quarter final time – which was also a British record.
So impressive was Jamieson’s semi-final time, that it would have been enough to earn him silver in the Beijing Games in 2008, and would have won him gold in the World Championships in Shanghai last summer. The Scot will now be bidding to emulate David Wilkie who won gold in the same 200m event in Montreal in 1976.
In what has been a lacklustre Games thus far for the British team, the final, which will be televised live at 7:30pm on Wednesday evening, will be a much watch for millions of people around the UK.
In a dramatic day in the pool, swimming legend Michael Phelps became the most successful Olympian of all time, surpassing the 48 year old record of 18 medals set by Russian gymnast Larissa Latynina.
However it didn’t all go to plan for the US swimming superstar who was pipped by five hundredths of a second in the 200 metres butterfly final by 18 year old South African, Chad le Clos.
Phelps lead all the way and lost out with the very last movement, le Clos touching the wall just ahead of the American who had led by a full body length at the halfway mark and still looked all over the winner with just ten metres to go.
However le Clos had something left and a dramatic lunge for the wall saw him take gold.
It was a magnanimous Phelps who took silver on the podium, congratulating the young South African who broke down with the enormity of his achievement.
However history was made later when Phelps anchored the US team to relay gold, and with it the title of most successful Olympic athlete of all time – bringing his Olympic medal haul to 19, which included 15 gold.