Saturday, April 16, 2016

Milne’s Focus Turns to 200m Freestyle

"I did my best, it’s over with and now I have to focus everything on the 200m (freestyle) tomorrow.” Stephen Milne

The penultimate day of the British Swimming Championships saw three athletes achieve the qualification standard for Rio much to the delight of the capacity crowd at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow.

The first event of the night was the Men’s 1500m final, not a race that usually gets the crowd on their feet screaming support, but tonight was different. Stephen Milne (Perth City) was given a rapturous welcome onto the pool deck and made the early pace leading up to 400m. However, he had company in the form of teenager Timothy Shuttleworth (National Centre, Loughborough) and it was Shuttleworth that took the race out from that point.

Slowing establishing a 2 second lead Shuttleworth powered home to take his first senior title in 14:55.23. Milne held on for 2nd in 14:59.10 and Dan Fogg (National Centre, Loughborough) was 3rd in 15:01.60.

While there was elation for Shuttleworth, Milne was more thoughtful at the end. He said,

“That was tough. I must say well done to Tim (Shuttleworth), it was a tremendous race for him. I did my best, it’s over with and now I have to focus everything on the 200m (freestyle) tomorrow.”

Asked if he aware of where Shuttleworth was in the race, Milne continued,

“I don’t concentrate on anyone else; I just focus on my own race. I did my best and I will now just have to wait and see what they do with selection for the team.”

Chris Lowther (City of Glasgow Swim Team) got a bonus swim as first reserve (Jay Lelliott pulled out) and finished 8th in 16:01.12.

Hannah Miley returned to the podium following the 200m IM final. The race was won emphatically by in form Siobhan Marie O’Connor (Bath University) in 2:09.66 ensuring Rio qualification for the event.  Miley won silver in 2:12.02 with Aimee Wilmott (London Aquatics) in 3rd with 2:12.57.

Miley said after the race,

“That was a good race. I knew Siobhan would go off and it was a case of hanging on in there. It was a solid swim for me.”

Asked about her chances of competing in the 200m IM in Rio, Miley continued,

“That would be nice, but it’s not up to me. Siobhan is well up there with a chance of a medal so it wouldn’t surprise me if it was only her competing in it.”

Emily Jones finished 5th in 2:15.44 in what was only her 2nd senior British final.

In the Men’s 200m IM four Scots made it through to the final with Mark Szaranek (Edinburgh University) having posted fastest qualifying time. He was joined by Dan Wallace (Warrender), Duncan Scott) and Lewis Smith (University of Stirling) in what was Smith’s last competitive race.

In a closely fought final, Roberto Pavoni (National Centre, Loughborough) came out on top taking the title in 1:59.20. Ieuan Lloyd of Cardiff won silver in 1:59.58 and Duncan Scott the bronze in 1:59.88.

After the race Scott said,

“I’ve not swum that for a while. I was quite happy although I wanted to get down to a 1:58 and challenge the 2 per cent. I’ve had a couple of days off and I felt it this morning. I was actually surprised to make it to the final but with the team now taking shape I want to be part of it.”

His University of Stirling team-mate, Lewis Smith, finished a fantastic career at the conclusion of the race where he finished 8th in 2:02.92. Szaranek was 4th in 1:59.98 with Dan Wallace in 6th in 2:00.26.

Ben Proud of Plymouth Leander also secured qualification to Rio in the 50m freestyle.

Other Scottish swimmers/swimmers with Scottish Clubs competing tonight were:

Jessica Thomson (COAST) 400m freestyle (Junior final): 4:24.14 (6th)

Sophie Smith (Arbroath St Thomas) 400m freestyle (Junior final): 4:27.73 (7th)

Meg Finnon (East Kilbride) 400m freestyle (Target Tokyo final): 4:20.34 (5th)

Camilla Hattersley (City of Glasgow Swim Team) 400m freestyle (Open final): 4:12.04 (4th)

George Clough (Warrender Baths Club) 200m IM (Junior final): 2:05.85 (3rd)

Ryan Retson (FIRST) 200m IM (Junior final): 2:07.81 (5th)

Callum Lawrie (FIRST) 200m IM (Target Tokyo final): 2:05.11 (4th)

Martyn Walton (University of Stirling) 200m IM (Target Tokyo final): 2:03.33 (2nd)

Tara Haworth (Lincoln Vulcans) 200m IM (Junior final): 2:20.80 (5th)

Chanel Sneddon (FIRST) 200m IM (Junior final): 2:20.83 (6th)

Jack Szaranek (Edinburgh University) 50m freestyle (Junior final): 23.77 (4th)

Grant Henderson (City of Glasgow Swim Team) 50m freestyle (Junior final): 23.75 (3rd)

Jack Thorpe (Edinburgh University) 50m freestyle (Open final): 22.75 (6th)

David Cumberlidge (Edinburgh University) 50m freestyle (Open final): 22.73 (5th)

Full results from the meet can be found here:

The event schedule can be found here:

Both heats and finals are being live streamed. Follow all the action here:

The British Swimming Championships are taking place at Tollcross International Swimming Centre from 12 to 17 April 2016.