Monday, August 06, 2018

Murdoch, Szaranek left disappointed after day four finals

Ross Murdoch and Mark Szaranek were both left disappointed after their respective finals, missing out on medals by the narrowest of margins on day four of swimming competition at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships.

Murdoch (University of Stirling) came onto the pool deck to rapturous applause and was looking to swim a controlled race, similar to that of the previous evening’s semi-final.  At the half way mark there was very little in it and despite turning in 8th place Murdoch looked to be sticking to his race plan and started moving up the field. With 50m to go there was still everything to play for, but with so many having powerful back end speed, Murdoch started the chase to hit the wall in 2:08.55, missing out on the bronze medal by 0.01.

Anton Chupkov (RUS) won gold in a new European and Championships Record time of 2:06.80 with GBR’s James Wilby coming through quickly to win silver in 2:08.39. The bronze medal was won by Luca Pizzini (ITA) in 2:08.54. Afterwards Murdoch commented,

“I’m very disappointed to be quite honest. I’ve learned a lot from this meet. It’s been pretty good so far and I expected better of myself tonight. I didn’t know if I could win it or not but I definitely felt I was better than 2:08.5.

“I need to go back, have a look at the race and speak to Steve (Tigg) and hopefully learn something and move that on for next year.

“It’s hard to see where you are in the race. In freestyle you can breathe either side of you and see where everyone is. In breaststroke if you do that then you’re already off the pace. The first person I saw was Anton (Chupkov) about 10m out from the 3rd wall for the home 50. That was the first I saw of anybody so I knew I couldn’t be far off the pace at that point.

“I turned and chased as best I could but to no avail tonight. I should have been going faster in the back 50 so I don’t know what happened there and as I said I need to go back and have a look. It’s not how I wanted to end my season.”

Mark Szaranek (Edinburgh University) was also welcomed onto the pool to loud cheers from a mostly home crowd. Keeping a steady pace during the fly and backstroke legs, Szaranek used to his strong breaststroke leg to move up through the field. At the final turn, however, there was too much to do, and Szaranek touched home in 5th place in a time of 1:58.88.

Gold went to Jeremy Desplanches (SUI) in 1:57.04, silver was won by Philip Heintz (GER) in 1:57.83, while Max Litchfield (GBR) looked delighted with the bronze medal in 1:57.96. After the final Szaranek said,

“I don’t know what happened. I need to go back, watch the race back and talk to the coach and see where it went wrong. I’m disappointed with that to be honest.

“There’s a couple of things in my head where I think went wrong but I need to clarify my thoughts; I’m straight out of the race so I can’t be sure and I need time to reflect.

“I was aware of where I was towards the end of the race; at the front half you’re either looking straight ahead or at the roof so you don’t know too much about what’s going on.”

Asked whether peaking twice in the year was proving difficult Szaranek finished,

“We are at a point in swimming where we should be able to swim fast at multiple points in the year.”

Earlier in the evening Duncan Scott secured his place in tomorrow’s 200m freestyle with a time of 1:46.97, while GBR and University of Stirling team-mate Kathleen Dawson expressed her disappointment with her 100m backstroke semi-final where she finished 13th overall in 1:00.57.

Other GBR medals won were Alys Thomas (Bronze, 200m fly) and the 4x100m mixed medley team (Georgia Davies, Adam Peaty, James Guy, Freya Anderson) broke the European Record on their way to Gold. Nick Pyle and Charlotte Atkinson will also pick up medals for their heat swims.

Scots in action in heats on Day 4 of the swimming competition will be Ross Murdoch (50m breaststroke) Hannah Miley (200m IM) and Craig McNally (200m backstroke).

Start sheets and full results can be found HERE.

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