Saturday, June 27, 2015

McNally on the Comeback Trail

"I love racing, the margins for victory are getting ever smaller and that’s what is keeping me in the sport.” Craig McNally

Warrender Bath Club’s Craig McNally won a hotly contested 200m backstroke final on the penultimate day of the Scottish National Swimming Championships from Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow.

Two years ago McNally was part of the GBR squad heading to Worlds in Barcelona, where he finished 6th in the final and broke the Scottish Record. Since then he has been plagued with illness in the run up to major events and hasn’t got back to his best.

Tonight, however, he proved he’s not to be written off, with a confident performance in the 200m back coming from behind in the final 50m to clinch victory from Jonny Carlisle of Bath in 2:01.71. Carlisle won silver in 2:01.85 and Callum Barrett of Loughborough secured bronze in 2:03.91.

After the race McNally commented,

“That sort of race is what it’s all about for me. It takes this level of competition to get close to PBs and I was just happy to get my hand on the wall first.”

Speaking about the summer ahead, he said,

“Of course I’m disappointed not to be going to worlds, I gave it my best shot at Trials but in the run up to the event I picked up a virus and I just couldn’t shake that off. I was swimming pretty well up to that point and while I did get over it, I just couldn’t bring myself back up to where I needed to be.

“I’m heading to the US Champs in August but my main focus is Rio. I love racing, the margins for victory are getting ever smaller and that’s what is keeping me in the sport.”

Camilla Hattersley continues her good form at these Championships. Hot off her Scottish Record at the 7 Hills Meet in Rome, Hattersley (City of Glasgow Swim Team) won gold in the 400m freestyle in a time of 4:14.10. Antoinette Neamt of Tallaght won silver in 4:16.68 and Abbie Housten of City of Sheffield the bronze in 4:20.32.

Hattersley said after the race,

“There’s really no change to what I’m doing, it’s just all about training hard, keeping my head down and I’m very happy that the results are beginning to come through for me.”

Hattersley will soon be under the guidance of new Head Coach, Ian Wright who returns to Scotland after a spell down at Hatfield. Hattersley said,

“Ian brings with him such a wealth of experience. He’s had good success over the years and I’m looking forward to working with him and seeing where he can help take me.”

Mark Tully of Edinburgh University beat Michael Jamieson in the 100m breaststroke final, while in the multi classification final, Scott Quin was fine tuning his preparations ahead of the IPC Swimming World Championships. He said,

“That was better. I’m only on my first week of taper so come the Championships I would expect to go faster. I’m pleased I posted a better time in my final than I did in my heat. Consistency is important.

“I’m hoping that we get loads of support here at Tollcross. Andy (Mullen) and I are the only Scots in the squad and we both race on the opening day, so it would be great to have everyone behind us.”

Roberto Pavoni (Loughborough) enjoyed a good win in the 200m IM. The Kazan bound athlete touched home in 2:01.84, ahead of Lewis Coleman of Bath and Fraser Minnican of Loughborough.

Toni Shaw smashed the S10 Scottish Record for 400m free, while Beth Johnston was also on record breaking form in the 100m backstroke, setting a new Scottish Record in the S10 category. Stephen Clegg also broke the Scottish Record in 50m freestyle.

And finally the Edinburgh University quartet of Raquel Matos, Emily Jones, Lucy Hope and Hayley Monteith broke the Scottish Club Record in the 4x100m freestyle, touching home in 3:49.39.

The Scottish National Swimming Championships are taking place from 25-28 June at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow.

Full results from the event can be found here: http://swimscotland.co.uk/meets%2015/SNOpen%20%2015/index.htm

QTV Sports is delivering an ambitious and impressive range of content from the championships, including:

Live, multi-camera, streaming of all four finals sessions, which can be found at www.scottishswimming.com/live. Selected races are available on Twitter and Facebook with Highlights and interviews from each finals session available overnight on www.youtube.com/ScottishSwimming

The official hashtag for the event is #SNSC15.

Pictures from the event can be found on the Scottish Swimming Facebook page: www.facebook.com/scottishswimming

For further information contact Kirsten Phillips, Communications Manager on 07730 661788.

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