Thursday, July 24, 2014

Golden Celebrations for Miley and Murdoch

Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch created unforgettable scenes at Tollcross International Swimming Centre by winning Gold in the first and last individual events of the night at a packed Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Hannah Miley gave the Scottish fans their first reason for celebration at the start of the session with a superbly judged 400m Individual Medley. Looking strong after the butterfly and backstroke legs, Miley was shoulder to shoulder with nearest rival Aimee Willmott (ENG). With Willmott not having much of a lead going into the final 100m the crowd held its breath then cheered Miley home over the last 50m giving her victory in a new Games record time of 4:31.76.

Willmott won Silver in 4:33.01, while Keryn McMaster (AUS) won Bronze in 4:36.35.

A jubilant Miley said after the race,

“I did not expect to go that fast and it hurt a lot. But it’s good to know that I can produce a result like that. I’ve been stuck around the 4:32 barrier for a long time, so a time of 4:31.76 puts me in real contention for World Championships when more of the big guns are competing.

“I will now go and watch my race and analyse it. For me my training is built around different components: swimming, fitness, land training, nutrition and psychology. It’s just about finding the right balance and getting each of them right on the day.

“I have dreamt about this moment, but I didn’t expect to cry on the podium. It was like playing out a film in my mind; seeing all the sacrifices my family and I have made to get to this moment. I wear my heart on my sleeve and that swim was for my dad, my family and it was for me.”

In a hotly anticipated 200m Breaststroke final, Ross Murdoch decided to change the script, securing a convincing victory over team-mate Michael Jamieson. Jamieson admitted to having nerves after the morning heats but could do nothing about the speed of Murdoch in the last 50m, with Murdoch coming home to take Gold in 2:07.30, a new Games record. Jamieson had to settle for Silver in 2:08.40, while Andrew Willis (ENG) won Bronze in 2:09.87. Scotland’s Calum Tait finished in 5th place lowering his personal best again to 2:10.21.

After an emotional medal ceremony, Murdoch said,

“I still a bit tearful and can’t believe that just happened. I will remember this moment for the rest of my life, especially as I was able to do it in front of my family, my friends, my girlfriend and this amazing home crowd.

Murdoch also paid tribute to his team-mate Jamieson, adding, “Michael is still an idol in my eyes, he’s had a tough time of it with injuries, but is someone I will continue to look up to for inspiration.”

A visibly upset Jamieson was dignified in defeat, saying that he hadn’t prepared himself for 2nd place, he had come to win.

Struggling with emotion Jamieson said, “Tonight is not about me, it’s about Ross. He deserved to win. He has been fast all season, his stroke efficiency is the best in the world at the moment and he has a great attitude. He should enjoy every moment of this victory.”

In other events, Dan Wallace, Robbie Renwick and Stephen Milne finished the final of the 400m Freestyle in 5th, 7th and 8th places respectively, while Kathryn Johnstone, Corrie Scott and Andrea Strachan all progressed to tomorrow’s 50m Breaststroke final. Craig McNally also made it safely through to tomorrow’s 100m Backstroke final, while Ryan Bennett just missed out finishing 9th overall.

The quartet of Rachel Masson, Sian Harkin, Lucy Hope and Caitlin McClatchey finished 5th in the 4x100m Freestyle relay, an event that was won by Australia, in a new World record time of 3:30.09.

Murdoch and Jamieson are both due back tomorrow to contest the 100m Breaststroke event along with Craig Benson, while Robbie Renwick starts the defence of his 200m Freestyle crown he won in Delhi. Dan Wallace will also be back in action alongside Lewis Smith and Ross Muir in the 400m Individual Medley, while Kathleen Dawson and Sian Harkin will compete in the 100m Backstroke and 50m Freestyle respectively.