Saturday, April 17, 2021

Dawson bags the backstroke double on penultimate night of Olympic Trials

Kathleen Dawson led from the off on her way to another Scottish Record and another Tokyo consideration time, on the penultimate night of action from the British Swimming Selectin Trials, being held at the London Aquatics Centre.

Kathleen Dawson showed her class in the final of the 200m backstroke, leading the field from the start and powering to victory in a new Scottish Record time of 2:08.14, breaking the Scottish Record she set at the Invitational Meet in Manchester last month by 1.3s. Her time of 2:08.14 was also within the consideration time for the event in Tokyo and the University of Stirling athlete was thrilled. She said,

“I’m delighted and could not have asked for a better meet. The performances from all my team-mates is testament to what the coaches are doing. I can’t express that enough. I just do what they tell me to do, and it is paying off.”

Looking at opportunities to make improvements, Dawson said,

“We are looking to go to Europeans soon and then there’s a Glasgow meet in June too, so I’ve plenty of opportunities to fine tune. I’d like to be faster round my turns and looking at the world stage there are definitely areas that I can sharpen up on.”

Her Stirling team-mate Cassie Wild touched home for second place, right on her PB, with 2:10.94.  East Kilbride’s Jennifer King finished in 2:14.20, while youngest athlete in the field, Rachel Saunders (Warrender Baths Club) produced another PB and finished in 2:14.56.

Edinburgh University’s Lucy Hope broke the 100m freestyle Scottish Record, a record which has been held by Caitlin McClatchey since 2008. Hope finished third overall in the event in 54.19 and said of her performance,

“I’m going to be tough on myself as I really wanted to break the 54 mark and get close to that consideration time. But it is a Scottish Record and I can’t be upset with my swim and I’ve finally broken Caitlin’s record. I’m looking at the 200 now! But for me I just want to improve bit by bit with each swim I do.

“This has been a really different meet, it’s not the Trials we had all expected. We are in a bubble and on our own in our rooms a lot more. The only time you can come out is to go to the pool. And with no crowds it’s not what we expected, so to put in that performance I am really happy.”

Taking about plans for the next block of training, Hope said,

“I can take lots away from this meet. Apart from the time trials in Manchester last month this has been the only opportunity we’ve had to race. Racing Anna (Hopkin) and Freya (Anderson) is great practice for me. Freya has the power in the back end, Anna the speed in the front end. I need to find out what my strength is and maximise that so it’s only with more racing that I can get faster. There’s chat about the relays and hopefully we can get a team to the Europeans and try and get under the qualifying time to secure a place in the event in Tokyo.”

In the same final junior athlete, Evie Davis (Bromley) swam a PB of 54.69 to finish fourth, while Emma Russell (University of Stirling) also swam a PB of 55.16. Hope’s Edinburgh team-mate, Tain Bruce, finished in 56.62.

In other events, Edinburgh University’s David Cumerlidge and Jack Thorpe finished the 50m freestyle in 22.63 and 22.76 respectively. In the first of his two events, Scott McLay (University of Stirling) finished the 50m freestyle in 22.63. McLay then went onto compete in the 100m butterfly final where he finished in 55.51.

Archie Goodburn (Loughborough NC) was the fastest of the Scots in the fly final, the former Warrender Baths Club athlete finished in a new personal best time of 53.88. Gregor Swinney (City of Glasgow Swim Team) also lowered his PB for the event, finishing in 54.76, while Tom Beeley of Plymouth Leander finished in 54.51.

In the final event of the evening, Katie Shanahan (City of Glasgow Swim Team) broke her personal best in the 200m IM. The 16-year old finished fourth in a time of 2:13.90 and was pleased with her efforts. She said,

“Honestly I’m so happy to finish my first Olympic Trials off with a PB. I didn’t realise I was going to go that fast and I’m delighted to get under that 2:14 mark.

“Obviously with lockdown it has been really hard for everyone so I’m grateful just to be here. To see everyone swim so well, I’m so inspired to think that one day I could be making the Olympic consideration time. It has got me fired up for the future.

“I’ll go back home now and put in a good block of training before the Meet in Glasgow, that will help sharpen up my skills and right some of the wrongs from the events that didn’t go so well. Then hopefully there will be a European Juniors in Rome so fingers crossed I’ll be selected for that and I hope I can continue to put in strong performances for whatever the rest of the season looks like.”

Hannah Miley (University of Aberdeen Performance Swim Team) improved on her heat time, finishing the final in 2:15.99.

Results from the Meet can be found HERE.

Click HERE to watch every heat and finals swim from the British Swimming Selection Trials