Joanne Jackson followed the tracks of elder sister Nicola into the world of international swimming. Joanne won the European Short Course Championship 400 freestyle in 2003 and made an Olympic début at Athens. Jackson continued her progress by reaching the World Championship final in 2005 and was a silver medallist at both the European Championships and Commonwealth Games the following year. After a relatively quiet 2007 she returned to form to win the bronze medal at the 400 free at the Beijing Olympics and establish herself as one of the best long distance freestylers in the world. Apart from Becky Adlington, who beat her in the 400 final, she was the only other British swimmer to win a medal in the pool in Beijing. Jackson even briefly held the world record in 2009, when she beat Adlington at the British Championship, though Federica Pellegrini had regained the record before she defeated Jackson at the World Championship later that year. The two silvers and a bronze she won at the championships marked the first time a Briton had won three medals at a world championship. Since then she has not quite reached the heights of 2009 but has won medals at major championships in relay events. Jackson had an asthma problem at the end of the 2009 season, and there were fears she would not make the team for London 2012, but she did. Sadly, she failed to reach the individual final but was in the Great Britain team that came fifth in the 4 x 200 Free relay. She announced her retirement in November 2012.
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