Friday, June 30, 2017

Routine proving key to Murdoch’s success

Day 2 of the Scottish National Open Swimming Championships from the Aquatics Centre at Aberdeen Sports Village provided yet more thrilling finals, more records from our para-swimmers and a glimpse of form from some of our top swimmers, including Ross Murdoch.

A little over three weeks away from the FINA World Swimming Championships, Ross Murdoch produced a powerful display to take gold and the title in the 200m breaststroke final.  It was a closely contested final for the first 100m with Edinburgh University’s Calum Tait and Kiern Preston making the early pace.

Murdoch turned first at the half way mark and from there showed both his strength and experience easing away from the field to take the title in 2:12.96. Kieren Preston held off a strong challenge from City of Oxford’s Tobermory Mackay-Champion to take silver in 2:16.54 with Mackay-Champion settling for bronze in 2:16.58.

Speaking after the race, the University of Stirling athlete said,

“I’m absolutely delighted with that to be honest with you. I was racing in Rome last week and went a 2:14.2 in the heats, the same as here. But in Rome I only managed to get that time down by a second in the final, Here, I’ve gone better and that just down to hard work. I’ve come here unrested, and unshaved; that’s pretty quick for me in-season.”

It’s been three years since Murdoch stormed to victory in the 200m breaststroke in Glasgow and since then, Murdoch has struggled to regain that sort of form. However, he now looks to be turning the corner and said,

“Things have changed, they had to as I decided I don’t like not swimming my main event. For a couple of years I’ve struggled for form.  I had a bit of illness, a bit of injury and that affected my mind-set.

“I realise now that I have been really striving for some sort of routine. I’ve started to nail that down for this cycle. I know what I have to do when I get home, when I need to eat, when I sleep etc. I have found that consistency away from the race pool helps with consistency in the race pool.

“Sometime you just have to be strict with yourself. I don’t want to waste any more years or put pressure on myself again. I’m so lucky that this is what I do, this is my job.”

Corrie Scott (Edinburgh University) also put on a strong display in the 100m breaststroke final powering to victory in 1:08.77 ahead of team-mate Kara Hanlon who secured silver in 1:09.30 and Hannah Miley (University of Aberdeen Performance Swimming)  who won bronze in 1:09.55.

After the medal ceremony, Scott said,

“This year’s been difficult, I’ve struggled with the 100m. For me that was a good performance especially as I’m unrested.  I’ve in Sheffield in less than a month at the British Summer Champs and I’m hoping to go a lot faster there and get that consideration time for Gold Coast.”

With working full time and still a busy training schedule Scott commented on her approach to the meet and said,

“I try and relax as much as I can. I enjoy racing and I know I‘ve still got a shot of securing a Gold Coast time.  I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved so far. I’ve represented Scotland twice at Senior Games and I hope that will continue. There are a lot of talented youngsters coming through but I’m incredibly competitive and they only make me work harder to get faster.”

In other events Lizzie Simmonds (Edinburgh University) provided a master-class in backstroke with a superb display in the 200m backstroke, taking the touch in 2:08.92, a full 3.5 secs ahead of nearest rival and team-mate Kathryn Greenslade who won silver in 2:12.47. Jennifer King (South Lanarkshire) won bronze in 2:13.86.

Angus Barr (University of Stirling) pushed Regan Lloyd of Team Ipswich all the way in a thrilling 400m freestyle final. The race went right down to the touch but Lloyd held on for victory in 4:01.11 ahead of Barr's 4:01.50. Martin McInnes (City of Glasgow Swim Team) won bronze in 4:03.86.

The para-swimmers again put in strong performances with Laura Pilkington (Swim West Lothian) breaking the SM6 Scottish Record for 200m IM, first in the heats with 4:23.42 and improving that in the final with a superb 4:19.42.

Carnegie’s Ollie Carter broke Paul Nobles 25-year old S10 400m freestyle record touching home in 4:32.56.

The Scottish National Open Swimming Championships runs from 29 June to 2 July.

Thursday 29 June – Sunday 2 July

Morning Heats:                 From 09:00    

Evening Finals:                  From 17:30 

The schedule of events can be found here: /Uploads/2017/6/22/7.%20Schedule%20of%20Events.pdf

The draft programme can be found here:

Results can be found on the Swim Scotland website:

The event can also be followed on social media by using #SNOC17 as hashtag, as well as on Scottish Swimming’s website,