Sunday, April 6, 2014

Renwick Set to Defend Title in Glasgow

Robbie Renwick, “I can take the next few days to relax then regroup and focus on the summer ahead"

The Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championships concluded with eight more Team Scotland consideration times being posted by Scottish athletes, including that of a defending champion in the 200m freestyle.

Robbie Renwick claimed victory in the 200m freestyle with a time that will allow him to defend the title he won four years ago in Delhi.  The City of Glasgow athlete was pushed hard by Warrender’s Dan Wallace but stepped up a gear over the course of the last 50m and touched home in 1:47.60. Wallace won silver in 1:49.02 with Jak Scott (University of Stirling) in third in 1:50.14.

Speaking after the race Renwick said: “Nerves on the first night, pressure on the last night. It’s been a tough few days and if I’m being honest I’ve little recollection of that final.

“I can take the next few days to relax then regroup and focus on the summer ahead. The next few months will be all about training, adopting the right lifestyle, staying sharp and pushing myself. If I do that then the pressure will be off come Games time and I can just focus on the performance.

“There were a lot of strong swimmers in that final and Scotland can and will put together another great 4x200m freestyle team. I can’t wait.”

In the MC final Craig Rodgie (Edinburgh University) stormed to victory breaking the Scottish Record and posting a Team Scotland consideration time, touching home in 2:03.05. Speaking after the race the 24 year old was delighted and said,

“My plan was to post a consideration time in the morning heats. I did that which took the pressure off me tonight so I went into that final relaxed and really enjoyed myself.

“It means a lot to me to break the Scottish Record here in Glasgow; I really hope that will help inspire some of the younger swimmers who are coming up through the ranks.

Looking ahead to the summer he continued, “It’s great to think I’ll be back here in July, you have no idea how much I am looking forward to that.”

Edinburgh University athletes Corrie Scott, Kathryn Johnstone and Andrea Strachan produced a superb 50m breaststroke final, with all three girls posting Team Scotland consideration times and Corrie breaking the Scottish Record with her time of 31.38. The 20 year old was visibly delighted and commented:

“I’m absolutely amazed by that time. I think of myself as more of a 100m swimmer so that’s a huge surprise. The best bit about it though is that Kathryn and Andrea have also posted consideration times. We all train together, race together and this is the result of four years hard work, I’m so happy for us all.”

The men’s 400m IM also produced a full house in terms of Team Scotland consideration times with University of Stirling’s Lewis Smith and Ross Muir facing stiff competition from Warrender’s Dan Wallace.

It was Smith who took advantage of his excellent start and started to pull away over the first two legs. With Muir losing a bit of ground the race was gold and silver was between Smith and Wallace who made up some serious ground during the freestyle leg. The last 50m were tight but Smith held on for the victory with a time of 4:16.28 with Wallace taking silver in 4:16.40. Muir won the bronze medal in 4:20.05 and all three athletes were delighted with the race.

Smith said: “That was tight, that was a really hard 400 IM. I knew it was close and I know that Dan has a really strong freestyle so I’m pleased to have held on.”

That was Smith’s second Team Scotland time of the meet and the 26 year old continued:

“I was pleased to get the 200m fly time on the first day of the meet, it blew the cobwebs away. I would have liked to have gone faster tonight so I’ll speak with the coach as there is still some work to be done.

“I’ll be so proud to represent Scotland this summer. I just missed out on the Olympics a couple of years ago and I was really disappointed to have had to watch the action on TV. I’m a proud Scot and Scotland as a nation is very proud and with Tollcross rammed full, the athletes will thrive on the support.”

Dan Wallace returns to the US on Wednesday and felt a bit of pressure knowing that his selection opportunity would be over four days rather than two full meets. He said,

“I’ve really enjoyed this week and I’ll return to the US very happy having posted consideration times in three events. There are a lot of foreign students studying in Florida and many of them will be competing in Glasgow this summer so despite being based in the US, my team-mates do understand the significance of the event and how important it is to me.”

Ross Muir also added his delight to the mix saying: “At the start of the season we had a new coach and started a new programme so we weren’t sure what would happen. So many of us are now likely to be on the team, there’s a fantastic dynamic in training and that will now carry on to the summer.” 

In other finals Craig Bowman (Carnegie) posted a 0.9 sec PB to claim the 100m fly title touching home in a time of 53.84 ahead of University of Stirling’s Cameron Brodie and Ryan Bennett.

Sian Harkin (University of Stirling) looked surprised at her victory in the 100m freestyle. Her time of 56.06 did give her the title ahead of Caitlin McClatchey (Edinburgh University) and Rachel Masson (South Aberdeenshire) who won silver (56.14) and bronze (57.03) respectively. Hannah Miley (Garioch) continued her medal chase with gold in the 200m butterfly while in the 50m backstroke it was Jack Ness who took the title. The last individual race of the night, the 1500m freestyle was won by Meg Finnon of South Lanarkshire.

Following the final medal ceremony Ally Whike, Performance Director of Scottish Swimming said:

“Overall it’s been a positive Championships. This is the first of two phase one selection meets and there are still a number of Team Scotland places up for grabs next week. I think we’re still to see plenty of twists and turns at the British Championships and I’m looking forward to seeing the swimmers stepping up their level of performance once again.”

A full round up of athletes who have secured Team Scotland consideration times from the Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championships will be available on from Monday.

Our Flickr photo album from the event can be viewed here:

If you have missed any of the action from the Championships, you can watch all races again on Scottish Swimming’s YouTube channel at free of charge.

As well as interviewing the race winners, we’ll also be producing a nightly round up show on each of the four days of competition with comment and analysis on all of the action from a panel of experts.