Friday, June 29, 2018

Hanlon, Mackay-Champion secure breaststroke titles on Day 2 of Championships

The Scottish National Open Swimming Championships continued today with Kara Hanlon and Tobermory Mackay-Champion winning breaststroke titles and Alice Tai edging ever closer to the 50m freestyle (S8) world record.

Kara Hanlon (Edinburgh University) continued her recent form by winning gold in the 100m breaststroke. Hanlon, led from the off and touched home in 1:09.37. Nearest rivals were Megan Morrison (Loughborough) and Orla Adams (University of Aberdeen) who won silver and bronze in 1:10.74 and 1:12.48 respectively. After the race Hanlon said,

“That was quite a good time for me in season, similar to what I’ve been doing the last few months so I’m happy with that.

“I’ve been doing a lot of work on my start and my turns, tweaking wee bits here and there and this meet has provided a good opportunity to adapt and try different things.

“I was so pleased to go under 1:09 at Mare Nostrum a few weeks ago. I’ve been consistent on a 1:09 low at every competition since February, and I’m hoping to push things on again at British Champs at the end of July.”

The Men’s 200m breaststroke provided a thrilling finish with Tobermory Mackay-Champion holding off a strong challenge from Craig Benson to take the title.

Mackay-Champion (City of Oxford) took the lead at the 100m mark and stuck to a well-constructed race plan to see him through to the finish. He touched home in 2:15.84, just ahead of Craig Benson, who put in a powerful performance over the final 50m to challenge for the title. The University of Stirling swimmer however had to settle for silver in 2:16.05, while early leader, Edward Baxter (Loughborough) won bronze in 2:17.61. After the race Mackay-Champion talked through his race,

“There were a few things I wanted to improve from this morning. I was really trying to focus on going a bit faster and then try and push through that third 50, but keeping enough efficiency on the stroke to bring it back on the last 50, increasing the rate, but keeping it steady.

“The 200m breast is such an exciting race at any Scottish Meet. It is so stacked meaning that there is always quality opposition to go against which is exciting. 

Speaking about longer term plans, Mackay-Champion continued,

“I’m competing at the British Summer Championships next month after which I will sit down with my coach and see where I’m at relative to my PB. With my studies it is so hectically busy juggling my geology with swimming that I can only afford to take it in small chunks, otherwise it just all seems huge with big exams looming, big pieces of coursework and so it’s nice just to discretise it a bit.

Alice Tai of Bournemouth College broke the British Record in both the heats and final for the 50m Freestyle (S8), with a new best time of 30.07, now just 0.3 off the world record.

The full list of results can be found on the Swim Scotland website:

The schedule of events can be found HERE

The draft programme can be found HERE

The event can also be followed on social media by using #SNOC18 as hashtag, as well as on Scottish Swimming’s website,