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LONDON, England, July 31. GREAT Britain's Michael Jamieson heard the roar of the partisan crowd after clocking a British record to lead the men's 200-meter breaststroke semifinals at the 2012 London Olympics.
Jamieson posted a top time of 2:08.20, moving to eighth all time in the event's history. His time cleared the 2:08.71 Daniel Gyurta clocked during prelims, which stood as the top time in textile at the Olympics. Jamieson is shooting to join Frederick Holman (1908) and David Wilkie (1976) as the only swimmers from Great Britain to win the event since Holman won the first iteration. Great Britain's Andrew Willis, who qualified third with a 2:08.47, also is in the running to add to the British medal tally in the event.
“I am really happy with it. I knew I was going to have to improve on this morning. I am swimming full of confidence,” Jamieson said. “Let's hope they can make even more noise tomorrow night (during the final). Who knows. There is a long way to go. I am going to have to improve to be amongst the medals. The crowd makes such a difference. There are some massive names in that final. Guys far more accomplished than me at this level.”
Gyurta, meanwhile, checked in with a 2:08.32. He placed second in 2004 before missing the podium in 2008 with a fifth-place time. He's on the path to return to the podium and give Hungary its seventh medal in the history of the event. It has won twice, and posted four silver-medal outings.
“What was more important was I swam slower at the end of the race,” Gyurta said. “I wasn't surprised, the Great Britain guys were so good because they were swimming well. I do not know what time I should swim because sometimes the final is slower. I will swim out of my skin. I want to win.”
Kosuke Kitajima, the two-time defending champion, qualified fifth in 2:09.03. With Michael Phelps missing threepeat shots in the 400 IM and 200 fly, and Kitajima missing in the 100 breast, this is the latest event to feature an unprecedented male threepeat possibility. Dawn Fraser and Krisztina Egerszegi are the only other swimmers to have accomplished a threepeat.
USA's Scott Weltz (2:08.99) and Clark Burckle (2:09.11) qualified fourth and sixth to make the finale. Japan's Ryo Tateishi (2:09.13) and Australia's Brenton Rickard (2:09.31) also snatched up transfer spots into the championship heat.
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