Friday, April 6, 2018

Swimming competition heats up on Day 2 of Games

In soaring temperatures at the Optus Aquatics Centre Scottish swimmers continued to put in solid performances with athletes progressing to semi-finals and finals in no less than seven events on day two of the swimming competition of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Duncan Scott (University of Stirling) opened his busy Games schedule in the 200m freestyle, posting a time of 1:46.62. Scott finished fourth at last year’s FINA World Championships in Budapest and will have some impressive company in the final, including James Guy of England, Calum Jarvis of Wales, who won bronze in this event in Glasgow four years ago.  

Scott will be joined by team-mate, Stephen Milne (Perth City) who makes his second consecutive final in as many days having finished in 1:48.08. Scott’s Stirling team-mate, Craig McLean, swam a lifetime best in the heats of 1:48.42 to finish 10th overall. After his heat, Scott said, 

“I had to work quite hard for that, it was my first swim here and I wasn’t sure how I’d go. There are no semi-finals here for the 200m free, and it’s a relay event so the field is pretty stacked.

“My aim was to win the heat and make it through to the final. It doesn’t matter what lane I’m in, when it comes to a final, everyone has a shot. There were some pretty decent swims in earlier heats not least of all from my training partner at Stirling, Craig McLean. He deserves a special mention for posting a massive lifetime best here, which was great to see.”

Mark Szaranek (Edinburgh University) also took to the competition pool for the first time, going in the heats of the 400m IM. While his time was a modest 4:18.47, the Florida Gators athlete was satisfied with his morning’s work and said, 

“I knew exactly what I had to do this morning. It was good to get out, swim my race, and now I can look forward to tonight. I’ve got more in the tank.”

Team Scotland’s youngest athlete at these Games, Toni Shaw, made a fantastic debut in the pool smashing her own Scottish Record in the 100m backstroke (S9) heats, coming home in a time of 1:16.19. Her previous record stood at 1:18.19. Shaw looked very happy with her swim and hoped to swim “in more of a straight line” in the final tonight.

The quartet of Kieran McGuckin (Edinburgh University), Craig McLean, Scott McLay (both University of Stirling) and Dan Wallace (Edinburgh University) secured a centre lane in the final of the 4x100m freestyle final. They broke the National record with a time of 3:16.53 finishing behind the team from Australia who will be favourites for the title having broken the Games Record in the heats (3:12.72).

In other events, Lucy Hope (Edinburgh University) progressed to the semi-finals of the 50m freestyle while Kathleen Dawson (University of Stirling) and Cassie Wild (Ellesmere Titans) also made it through to the next round of the 100m backstroke.

The breaststroke trio of Ross Murdoch, Craig Benson (both University of Stirling) and Calum Tait (Edinburgh University) will also return to the pool this evening in the semi-finals of the 100m breaststroke.

Full results from the swimming can be found HERE

The Swimming competition starts on Thursday 5 April and continues until Tuesday 10 April, before the Aquatics Diving programme begins on Wednesday 11 April. The Aquatics programme is being held at the Optus Aquatics Centre.

Swimming finals start at 19:30 local time (10:30 GMT).