Friday, July 25, 2014

Wallace and Scott Join Swimming’s Medal Rush

Scottish swimmers raised their medal tally to five after only two days of the swimming competition with Dan Wallace and Corrie Scott securing Gold and Bronze at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

Wallace delighted the packed crowd and put a ‘moment of madness’ a couple of months ago well and truly behind him to win Gold in the 400m Individual Medley

Wallace paced his race brilliantly and was not in any way phased by the early pace Sebastien Rousseau (RSA) was setting. Safe in the knowledge that the latter half of the race was his stronger part, Wallace slowly reigned in his rival. A superb turn onto the breaststroke leg gave Wallace his cue to make the move and with only 50m to go, he took the opportunity and stormed to victory in a time of 4:11.20, just outside the Commonwealth Games Record time he had set in the heats (4:11.04).

Rousseau paid the price for his early pace and faded and it was Thomas Fraser-Holmes (AUS) who won Silver in 4:12.04, with Rousseau settling for Bronze in 4:13.09. Lewis Smith (SCO) and Ross Muir (SCO) finished 5th and 8th respectively.

Wallace’s acknowledged that his place on the team had been put into question following an incident involving the police in Florida about which he said,

“I was very close to losing my place on the team and it was a real wake up call for me. I came to a point in my life where I had to re-evaluate which path I wanted to take and I chose the right one.  I was living the life of a rock star while still trying to perform in the pool which you just can’t do.

 “I now know who I am as a person and know what I can achieve if I put my mind to it and channel things in the right direction. I am a professional athlete and I am learning to enjoy things in moderation.”

On the race itself Wallace continued,

“I knew where I needed to be in the race at 200m. I didn’t panic and I knew I had the best breaststroke leg of the field. I train with Sebastien (Rousseau) in Florida every day so we know each other well and how we race. The crowd were absolutely amazing. I’ve never experienced anything like this. Hopefully this performance tonight will overshadow recent events and this is what I’ll be remembered for. “

Earlier in the evening Corrie Scott had secured a fantastic Bronze medal in the 50m Breaststroke final, touching home in yet another personal best time of 30.75. Leiston Pickett (AUS) successfully defended the title she won in Delhi winning Gold in 30.59, with Alia Atkinson (JAM) taking Silver in 30.67. Scott’s team-mates Kathryn Johnstone and Andrea Strachan finished 6th and 8th respectively.

Following the Medal Ceremony a jubilant Scott said,

“I’ve been training so hard. I knew I could go fast but just didn’t know how fast. All I’ve been thinking about is to get through the heats, improve on my time in the semi-final, then in the final, anything could happen and it just did.

“Nights like this make all the early mornings and the training worthwhile. I’ve taken a year out of my university studies for this as I really wanted to leave no stone unturned in term s of my preparation. To achieve this medal in a pool I’ve been competing in since I was 11 years old, and in front of my parents, my grandparents and my cousins has made this the best day ever.”

Robbie Renwick was unable to defend his 200m Freestyle title finishing 5th in 1:46.79 and Craig McNally finished 7th in the 100m Backstroke final in a time of 54.54.

The 4x100m Freestyle relay quartet of Robbie Renwick, Richard Schafers, Kieran McGuckin and Duncan Scott just missed out a medal, finishing 4th in 3:17.66. Jack Thorpe and Jak Scott swam in the heats.

Ross Murdoch will be back in action tomorrow in the final of the 100m Breaststroke. There he will line up alongside Craig Benson, both of whom qualified after the semi-finals. Michael Jamieson misses out though, finishing 11th overall. It was a similar story for Kathleen Dawson who couldn’t improve on her heat time and finished 10th overall after the 100m Backstroke semi-finals. Sian Harkin will also feature for Scotland in the final of the 50m Freestyle.