Friday, April 4, 2014

Scottish Swimmers Hungry for Team Scotland Places

Michael Jamieson, "I’m really enjoying the meet, the venue looks great and the support is amazing.”

The Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championships continued at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow today with 14 individuals posting consideration times for Team Scotland places.

The crowd played a great part in supporting the athletes with the welcome for Michael Jamieson particularly vocal.  And the Olympic silver medallist didn’t disappoint smashing through the qualification standard with a time of 2:08.01, although the 25 year old appeared disappointed and said:

“I was hoping to post a best time tonight. I felt good after this morning’s heats and that final swim actually felt better technically so I’m not sure what happened there.

“I’m thinking it’s no more than race-rust as I’ve not actually competed much this year. In saying that, I’m really enjoying the meet, the venue looks great and the support is amazing.”

Hot on his heels of Jamieson was Ross Murdoch (University of Stirling) who produced a quality race finishing strongly in 2:09.15. Indeed such was the quality on show that Calum Tait (Edinburgh University) and Craig Benson (Warrender) also produced the times needed for Team Scotland consideration, although it’s only the top three that count.

The women’s 100m breaststroke final produced a great battle between Edinburgh University team-mates Kathryn Johnstone and Corrie Scott with Kathryn just having the edge on the night to take the title. Hatfield’s Katie Armitage also finished strongly and all three girls made the consideration time for Team Scotland places.

Following the finals, Kathryn said: “Corrie pushes me all the way; I can see her out the corner of my eye. Of course I’m always pleased to touch the wall first but I’m so happy she’s made the time too.”

Corrie herself added: “I am so happy for Kathryn and I to have made the time.  We train together, race together and push each other on all the time. She won today but next week I’ll be looking to take her down!”

Speaking of their previous Team Scotland experience in 2010, the girls continued. Kathryn said:

“Delhi for me was really only a one year process; it was my first senior meet and was a bit overwhelming. I’ve gained a lot of confidence since then, and I know I can perform.”

Corrie echoed this and added, “I was only 16 when I qualified for Delhi and I was in awe of absolutely everything. I’m more mature now, know what to expect and can’t wait to compete.”

City of Glasgow’s Robbie Renwick bounced back from last night’s disappointment by taking victory in the 400m freestyle and posting a time well within the Team Scotland nomination criteria. Punching the water at the end of the race, his relief was evident and he said:

“That meant a lot and I’m relieved to have made the time. I just put yesterday out of my mind and focussed on the today’s race and I’m so happy to have done what I needed to do.

“The venue is world class and the crowd is great and I can now look forward to competing here this summer in front of a home crowd in what has become my home town.”

Dan Wallace (Warrender) and Stephen Milne (Perth City) also touched the wall within the all-important qualification standard.

Other athletes to achieve consideration times were Sian Harkin (University of Stirling) in the 50m freestyle and Hannah Miley in the 200m IM. Miley also took the 800m freestyle title but was pushed all the way to the wall by Aisha Thornton (Loughborough University) and Camilla Hattersley (City of Glasgow) and all three girls got the time needed for Team Scotland consideration to the delight of the crowd.

The Scottish Gas National Open Swimming Championship take place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre between 3rd and 6th April 2014.

If you missed any of the action or want to re-live Ross Murdoch’s record breaking swim, you can watch all races again on Scottish Swimming’s YouTube channel at free of charge.

All of the interviews and shows will be available free of charge from Scottish Swimming's official soundcloud channel at htps:// , with content uploaded throughout the final session each day. The nightly round up show will be available from 9pm each night.

Photos from the event will be available on Flickr: