Wednesday, December 4, 2019

McLay, Murdoch and Scott all in action on opening day of European Short Course Championships

Great Britain’s 4x50m freestyle relay team were just edged out the medals in a thrilling finale to day one of the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships 2019, which are taking place in Glasgow.

Scott McLay, Joe Litchfield, James Guy and Duncan Scott had qualified for the final with a British Record in the heats, 1:25.31, with Duncan Scott producing a Scottish Record for 50m freestyle in the lead off leg with 21.25.

For the final, McLay took over the lead off leg while Scott anchored the team home to a time of 1:24.82, another British Record. Russia won gold in 1:22.92, Poland secured silver in 1:23.74 and Italy held on for the bronze in 1:24.50.

After the final Scott said of the overall performance,

“I don’t think the four of us really know what a good 4x50m time is to be honest with you. It was quicker than this morning, that’s what we came here to do and finishing fourth we’ve surprised ourselves and I think we should be happy.

“None of us are 50 freestylers, this is about executing the skills under pressure and it’s also another opportunity to practice the relay takeovers under pressure. We gave it a good shot.”

James Guy added,

“This relay is completely unknown to us; we are definitely not 50 freestylers whereas for others, this is their main event. This goal for the season ahead is all about qualification to the Olympics but there’s a commitment here to race fast and enjoy it. In terms of relays, we are getting stronger and stronger each year and we are now contesting medals every time we race.

Scott McLay added,

“I’ve not come into this meet with too many expectations. This morning’s fly, I left it all on the first 50 and just saw what I could come back on. I was really happy with the PB but it would have been nice to have made it through to those semi-finals. This morning’s relay was also good and to back it up again tonight, I’m really pleased with that.

Joe Litchfield said of the Meet,

“It’s going to be a big week, today was the busiest day with four races, although if the 50s go to plan I could be in six races on Sunday! It’s great to be here, make it through the rounds and swim fast.”

Ross Murdoch was upbeat about his performance in the 50m breaststroke having finished 10th overall and just missing out in a place in the final.

Better known for the longer distance, Murdoch knew he’d have to be on his best form to reach the final and he wasn’t far from it. The 25-year old University of Stirling athlete put in a strong performance finishing in a time of 26.38, just 0.04 off his Scottish Record time. Despite not making the final, Murdoch was pleased with the improvements he’d made from the heats, and said,

“I did say this morning that I’d have to be on my best time to make that back, if not a best time. And that was as close to getting a PB without actually getting a PB. I did what I said I was going to do - I hit my turn really well, hit my finish quite well but that could have been better,  but overall a 26.3 is on my best time, it’s 10th overall so I’ve only just missed out on the final, and that looks good for the rest of the week.”

Speaking about the significance of the meet, Murdoch said,

“This meet is about finding flow in my stroke, that’s something I’ve struggled to find over the past couple of years and I feel I’ve forced the stroke rather than being able to rely on it. Nailing the skills and finding a rhythm is what I’m looking for. Rather than trying to build through a race you want to hit, hit, hit from the go and this event is a good place to try and learn it.”

He won’t have long to wait before he’s back in action. Murdoch continued,

“I’m back in tomorrow for the 200m breast and the mixed medley.  I’m hoping I’ll get a couple of swims both in the morning and the evening.  I’ll head off for a swim down now; I won’t need much as it was only a 50 and then I’ll refuel and start the recovery process so I’m ready for tomorrow.”

The schedule of events and full results service can be found HERE.

The LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships 2019 are being held at Tollcross International Swimming Centre in Glasgow from 4-8 December.