Swimming - Halsall ends Short Course Champs with a silver

Fran Halsall went some way towards making up for her Olympic disappointment on the final night of the World Short Course Championships as Britain took their medal tally from four to six in Istanbul.

Swimming - Birthday girl Halsall hoping to improve

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Fran Halsall of Britain (Reuters)

The 22-year-old saw her trademark smile and giggles turn into a frown and tears at London 2012 in the summer as she failed to win a single medal from the five events she entered in the capital.

However, after a slow start in Istanbul that saw her opt out of competing in the 100m freestyle before travelling, Halsall finally toasted a podium finish as she won silver over half the distance.

In contention throughout the heats and semi-finals, placing second and fourth respectively, Halsall was a clear second in 23.87seconds with Aliaksandra Herasimenia claiming gold 0.23 ahead in 23.64.

Denmark’s Jeanette Ottesen Gray completed the podium in third however Halsall’s medal wasn’t the only British success with Jemma Lowe claiming her second bronze in Turkey in the 100m butterfly.

Lowe took bronze in the 200m on the opening night and ended her championships in a similar fashion breaking her Welsh record in the 100m butterfly by 0.01 after clocking 56.66 to finish third.

Ilaria Bianchi took gold over half a second ahead of Lowe in 56.13 with China’s Liu Zige not far behind in second while try as she might another Brit Georgia Davies couldn’t make it a hat-trick of medals.

She set a British record of 26.56 in the second final of the evening, the 50m backstroke, but that was only good enough for an agonising fourth, 0.06 shy of Poland’s Aleksandra Urbanczyk who took bronze.

China’s Zhao Jing broke the 26-second barrier to win in a new championship record of 25.95 with Olivia Smoliga second but, after a poor morning session that saw no one qualify for a final, Britain had plenty of reason to smile.

They weren’t involved in any other finals on the last night but a return of six medals would have shown the British public that they are capable of success after winning just three at London 2012.

Meanwhile multiple Olympic and world champion Ryan Lochte was once again beaten to gold in Istanbul, this time by Poland’s Radoslaw Kawecki by the narrowest of margins in the 200m backstroke.

Kawecki got the better of Lochte, who was beaten by Chad le Clos in similar fashion in the 100m butterfly, actually finishing third, at the touch to win by 0.02 with American Ryan Murphy clear in third.

However Lochte ensured it wasn’t third time unlucky in the 100m medley final as he edged out Australia’s Kenneth To by 0.17 to claim his fifth gold with George Bovell III third a further 0.28 behind.

Russia’s Vladimir Morozov won his second title in the 100m freestyle, adding to his success over half the distance, beating Tommaso D’Orsogna into second and teammate Evgeny Lagunov into third.

Rikke Moeller Pedersen took gold in the women’s 200m breaststroke in a new championship record of 2:16.08minutes while in the men’s 50m breaststroke Aleksander Rognerud Hetland won a blanket finish.

Just 0.03 separated the top three with Hetland coming out victorious in 26.30 with Slovenia’s Damir Dugonjic second just 0.02 behind and France’s Olympic 50m freestyle champion Florent Manaudou third by just another 0.01.

Another championship record fell in the men’s 200m butterfly final with Kazuya Kaneda winning in 1:51.01 while Denmark’s Mads Glaesner was triumphant in the 1500m freestyle in 14:30.01.

With the slower heats in the morning session, in which Britain’s Daniel Fogg was entered, he ranked 16th almost 25 seconds behind while teammate Robbie Renwick was 25 places down in 41st.

Allison Schmitt won the penultimate event of the championships, the 200m freestyle, by 0.72 ahead of Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu before her American teammates triumphed in the men’s 4x100m medley relay.

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