Saturday, December 14, 2019

Murdoch continues record breaking form

Ross Murdoch continued the record breaking form he’s been producing of late breaking the 100m breaststroke Scottish Record on day two of the Scottish National & Open Short Course Swimming Championships which are taking place at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

The final again ended in a 1-2-3-4 for the University of Stirling with Murdoch powering to victory in 56.67, shaving 0.16 off the time he posted in the semi-finals of the LEN European Championships last weekend. Team-mates Craig Benson and Zak Aitchison reversed their positions from the previous night (50m breaststroke final) taking silver and bronze respectively (57.79 and 59.31). Duncan Scott came home fourth in 59.46.

Afterwards Murdoch described how he felt with his performance,

“I’m buzzing with that. It was a good time and it was a good race which I think I put together really well. I was out faster than I was last week at the European’s in Glasgow and back the same. I’ve found a bit more on the front end while I was hoping to get a little bit more out the back 50, but I can’t be disappointed with that, it was a really good swim.

“I said I wanted to use last week as a bit of a springboard and it has really helped my skills. I found I was hitting all my walls, all of my breakouts were solid and my dives have been amazing so far. It’s great to keep moving things on.”

Speaking about team-mate Zak Aitchison rise up the breaststroke ranks, Murdoch continued,

“It’s great to see Zak moving up.  Speaking to my coach Steve last night, he said that while I was swimming really well, if I made one mistake on the 50 event, Zak would be having me. I knew he’d be right there at the start. If you watch Zak’s start he’s one of the most springy and most powerful guys I’ve ever seen. He’s definitely one to watch out for.”

Edinburgh University girls enjoyed a good night in the pool, their first gold of the night coming from Lucy Hope in the 50m freestyle.  Hope touched home in 24 while Emma Russell (Hearts) took the silver, equalling the Scottish Junior Record she produced in the heats with a time of 25.27, while Harriet Rogers of Darlington won bronze in 25.55.

After the race Hope said of her performance,

“I’m quite happy with that tonight. You obviously always want to go faster in the race but I think I executed it really well, and for where I am just now in training, I’m really happy with that.”

Speaking about the Trials in April next year, Hope continued,

“It’s going to be a tough ask next year with the best opportunities for me probably coming in the relays, the 4x100 free the 4x200 free. We’ve seen the likes of Freya (Anderson) and Anna (Hopkin) swim out of this world at Europeans. If I can put my best race that I think I have in me out there I’ll be giving myself the best opportunity to make the team.”

While the womens GBR team haven’t yet qualified for an Olympic relay place Hope said,

“I think if four girls in Britain swim their best times we’d be well within the top four needed to qualify. In Trials I’m hoping to put the best performances as I can together and hopefully bring out the best I know I have in myself.”

Team-mate Kara Hanlon won gold soon after picking up the breaststroke mantle from past Edinburgh University swimmers such as Corrie Scott and Kathryn Johnstone.  Hanlon timed her race to perfection taking over the lead from Bath’s Chloe Tutton with 50m to go. Hanlon took the touch in 2:24.79. Tutton won silver in 2:25.95, while Hannah Miley picked up the second of three individual medals she’d win tonight, with bronze in a time of 2:26.59.

Hanlon said of her race,

“It was a PB which I’m happy with. I’ve been trying to go under 2:25 for a long time so it’s nice it has finally come. I’ve still some work to do on the pull outs and the turns which were letting me down a little bit there but my swimming feels good at the moment.”

The Edinburgh University quartet of Tain Bruce, Sophie Smith, Rachel Masson and Lucy Hope topped the podium in the 4x50m Freestyle relay where their time of 1:41.54 was a new Scottish Record.

The University of Stirling quartet of Duncan Scott, Martyn Walton, Scott McLay and Craig McLean broke the British Record and claimed a Scottish Club Record in the 4x50m freestyle relay with a time of 1:24.61.

Earlier in the day our para swimmers were also on record breaking form with Toni Shaw (University of Aberdeen Performance) breaking the British Record (S9) for 100m butterfly in a time of 1:07.42, and the Scottish Record (S9) for 400m freestyle (4:40.05). Louis Lawlor (City of Glasgow Swim Team) secured the British Record (S14) for 50m backstroke with a time of 26.93 and also touched home in the 200m freestyle in a Scottish Record time of 1:58.29 (S14).

Conner Morrison (University of Aberdeen Performance) broke the British Record (SM14) for 100m IM with a time of 1:01.38.

Full results from all heats and finals can be found on the Swim Scotland website:

The event is being live-streamed with the finals available to view on demand on the Scottish Swimming YouTube Channel:

The action can be followed across all Scottish Swimming social media channels using the hashtag #ScotNSC19

The Scottish National & Open Short Course Swimming Championships are taking place at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh from 13-15 December 2019.