Thursday, May 19, 2016

Murdoch Crowned European Champion in London

“That swim has been a long time coming, but I never thought it would happen in the middle of a training block, I'm so happy." Ross Murdoch

Scottish swimmers had a superb night at the LEN European Championships in London with three medals secured, including Gold for Ross Murdoch.

Acknowledging the crowd, Murdoch looked both confident and relaxed as he lined up on the blocks for the final of the 200m breaststroke. While he was fastest qualifier for the event, he was more than aware that in the adjacent lane was Marco Koch of Germany, the reigning World Champion for the event, whose trademark is a powerful finish.

Murdoch turned in third at the half way mark and started to make his move, taking over the lead at the 150m mark. In the final 25m Koch was really beginning to make in-roads into Murdoch’s lead, but Murdoch held on, hitting the wall in 2:08.33 to be crowned European Champion.

Koch finished close behind in 2:08.40 with Italy’s Luca Pizzini finishing in 3rd in 2:10.39. A beaming Murdoch said after the race,

“That swim has been a long time coming, but I never thought it would happen in the middle of a training block, I'm so happy.

“I could see the waves that Marco was creating so knew he was closing in. I just had to keep my nerve and maintain my stroke length and I’m delighted I got to the wall first.”

Talking about the support Murdoch has he continued,

“That swim was for me, my coach Ben (Higson) and my family. I’ve been coached by Ben since 2013 and I’ve never looked back and I’m so happy that my family are here tonight to see me win. Family are everything to me.”

Hannah Miley enjoyed a busy evening, winning Bronze in the 200m IM in 2:11.84 behind Katinka Hosszu of Hungary (2:07.30-CR) and GBR team-mate, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor who won silver in 2:09.03. After the race the ever smiling Miley said,

“I include this event in my programme as I need speed work, but in reality an 800m IM would be perfect for me!

“I will have a look at my splits and see where more speed is needed, but to be in the medals at this meet is a great bonus.”

Miley (Garioch) was also part of the 4x200m freestyle relay team (Carlin, O’Connor, Miley and Coates) who came fourth in the final, finishing in a time of 7:53.97. Miley also swam in the heat alongside fellow Scot Camilla Hattersley (City of Glasgow), Ellie Faulkner and Georgia Coates.

Kathleen Dawson continued to take the Championships by storm and lined up for the final of the 100m backstroke as a real medal contender and the 18 year old who currently trains in Warrington did not disappoint, finishing in 59.68 for a Bronze medal. Nielsen of Denmark took Gold in 58.73 and Hosszu of Hungary the Silver in 58.94.

Rivalling the smile usually associated with Hannah Miley, Dawson said,

“Wow, that’s definitely not what I thought would happen coming into this meet, I’m overwhelmed. I haven’t stopped smiling since I went under a minute yesterday, but to come away with a medal is just unbelievable.”

Earlier in the evening Duncan Scott (University of Stirling) had been the sole GBR member to progress to the semi-finals of the 100m freestyle, where he finished in a time of 49.11, 13th overall for the event.

Full results for the LEN European Aquatics Championships 2016 are available here:http://london2016.microplustiming.com/Elite/indexLondonElite2016_web.php?sport=Swimming

Tickets for the LEN European Aquatics Championships are still available both on the door and via http://www.theticketfactory.com/euroaquatics/online   - come and support the British team in London.

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