Friday, December 11, 2015

Murdoch, Johnstone and Milne in Record Breaking Form

"I’m now feeling good and I have put in the work and that’s what's making all the difference." Ross Murdoch

For many it may be the last short course competition of the season but by no means were the athletes slowing down. Indeed Ross Murdoch, Kathryn Johnstone and Stephen Milne all broke Scottish senior records on their way to gold in their respective events.

Murdoch (University of Stirling) came close to the record during the heats of the 50m Breaststroke, posting a time of 26.87. The existing record, yet to be ratified, was 26.84 and held by team-mate Craig Benson. Unsurprisingly in the final, Murdoch led from the off, storming down the first 25m and by the turn nobody was in doubt as to who the winner was going to be.

Murdoch touched home in 26.69 ahead of team-mate Jamie Graham who won silver in 27.36. Chris Kerr of Warrender was 3rd in 27.91. Speaking after the race Murdoch said,

“This time last year I was ill and just hadn’t put in the background of work needed to compete. I’m now feeling good, have put in the work and that’s making all the difference and for that I really must thank the team at the University of Stirling and the Scottish Institute of Sport. They have both helped me through quite a dark period in my life so I am very grateful.”

Having recently competed and won a medal in Doha at the FINA/airweave Swimming World Cup 2015 in Doha Murdoch came to this meet in good form. He continued:

“I am a lot more confident than I was this time last year. I’ve put in a good background of work and for me it’s just down to racing. I love racing, I just want to compete all the time.”

Edinburgh University’s Kathryn Johnstone was also on record breaking form in the 100m Breaststroke. Having equalled Kirsty Balfour’s long standing record at the Team Championships back in September, Johnstone upped her race powering to victory in 1:06.22, over two seconds ahead of nearest rival and team-mate Kara Hanlon who took silver in 1:08.35. Rachael Wilson of Derwentside won bronze in 1:08.39.

Speaking after the race Johnstone said,

“I knew I had it in me. I equalled the record in September and I was feeling good ahead of the final, so I’m pleased at the result.

“I now need to switch my focus to the Long Course season and in particular to the Trials in April. Short course racing is totally different to long course moreso it seems for breaststroke, but I can take confidence that the technical aspects of my race are going well and I’m looking forward to seeing how my preparations take shape.”

Stephen Milne of Perth City, fresh from a trip to Rio, broke Robbie Renwick’s long standing Scottish Record (2008) for 400m Freestyle, posting a time of 3:40.19. Duncan Scott of University of Stirling won silver in 3:41.33 while Belgian’s record holder, Lander Hendrickx won bronze in 3:43.97.

Milne said after the race, “I did have an 11 hour flight on Monday back to Heathrow then another flight back up to Scotland, but I was feeling good and happy to race. I wasn’t really affected by jet lag or the long journey.

“I was very thankful of the opportunity to go to Rio and it will really spur me on in the early part of 2016 ahead of the Trials. I’ll just continue to work with my coach, Ann Dickson, on the technical aspects of my race and my fitness and we’ll see what happens.”

Channel Sneddon of FIRST broke the Scottish Junior Record during the 200m IM final (2:12.91) while the Edinburgh University quartet of Lucy Hope, Kathryn Johnstone, Raquel Matos and Hayley Monteith broke the National 200m Medley Relay Record. Earlier in the day Danii Joyce (University of Stirling) broke the Deaf World Record in the 100m freestyle while Jack McComish broke the Deaf European Record in the 50m Breaststroke.

The National Junior Record for the 200m Medley Relay was also broken by the team from South Ayrshire. The quartet of Megan Niven, Erin Robertson, Katie Robertson and Caitlin Duffy finished with a new best time of 1:57.71.

The final race of the night, the Men’s 200m Medley Relay saw a dead heat between University of Stirling’s A and B teams.

Watch all race highlights on our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/scottishswimming

All evening finals are streamed live on www.scottishswimming.com/live. The morning and afternoon heats can be followed with our CoverItLive feed, which can be found at www.scottishswimming.com/scotnsclive 

All results from the heats and the finals can be found at http://www.swimscotland.co.uk/meets%2015/snsc15/index.htm

Pictures can be found on our Flickr page: www.flickr.com/scottishswimming.

More information about the event and daily summary reports can be found at www.scottishswimming.com or www.facebook.com/scottishswimming  

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For any further information please contact Kirsten Phillips, Communications Manager Scottish Swimming on 07730 661788 or by email to k.phillips@scottishswimming.com

The Scottish National Short Course Championships are taking place at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh from 11-13 December 2015.

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