Sunday, June 6, 2021

Murdoch praises volunteers on final day of British Swimming Glasgow Meet

Ross Murdoch may not have been pleased with his swim in the 200m breaststroke final on the final day of the British Swimming Glasgow Meet, but he was full of praise for the volunteers and organisers who put on the meet.

Murdoch (University of Stirling) and James Wilby (National Centre, Loughborough) who have both qualified for this event in Tokyo, exchanged lead a couple of times over the course of the race. Over the final 50 it was Wilby who had the extra power take the win in 2:10.44, with Murdoch second in 2:11.57. Loughborough’s Greg Butler was third in 2:12.63.

After the race, Murdoch said,

“I don’t have an excuse, people had a really difficult Europeans, a lot of racing went on, a lot of relays. I wouldn’t say I’m as physically or mentally challenged off the back of Europeans as a lot of others. So yes, I’m disappointed with that, not too chuffed.

“This is the last set up competition for us although there will probably be a couple of stand up swims between now and the Games in Stirling and out on our Holding Camp in Tokyo. Between now and then we are hoping to see a couple of new names added onto the team, kitting out, which is also fun, and a small trip to Loughborough during the kitting out weekend, to get all the team together and enjoy a bit of training together again.”

Speaking about a return to competition at Tollcross, Murdoch said,

“It is great to be back in Tollcross, I love coming back here. It’s Volunteer Week and the volunteers at all the Scottish Swimming and British Swimming Meets are always fantastic. Tough but fair I think they say! Joyce is a legend in this pool and she’s been keeping everyone in check this week so it’s really nice to be back at Tollcross.”

In the women’s event, Kara Hanlon (Edinburgh University) was the top placed Scot, finishing third in a time of 2:28.82. Hannah Miley (University of Aberdeen Performance) was fourth in 2:30.23 and Katie Robertson (Edinburgh University) finished eighth in 2:36.03.

Lucy Hope put in another strong performance in the 100m freestyle final, finishing second behind Anna Hopkin of National Centre, Loughborough. Hope, Edinburgh University, touched home in 54.84 and was pleased with how the last few weeks in Budapest and Glasgow have gone. She said,

“I guess it’s all just prep into the summer, hopefully. I think for me this has been a tough Meet obviously swimming the heats and the finals then coming up the next day and swimming the same thing. It’s tough but definitely a learning experience and I’m taking it in as much as I can and understanding that it’s just the processes we have to go through and in the end it’s all just building up to the Games. Overall I’m really happy with my swim there; nice to go faster than I did last night and it’s good to keep moving things forward.”

Evie Davis (Bromley) and Emma Russell (University of Stirling) finished in fourth and fifth respectively.

Toni Shaw (University of Aberdeen Performance) swam in the MC finals of both the 400m and 100m freestyle and said of her time in Glasgow,

“Going into this meet I didn’t really have any expectations. The week before I came down with a cold and I just decided to see how things go. Every chance you get to race you want to do it as there’s been so few chances to do so of late, so I’m happy with how it has gone and it has just been so nice to see everyone again.”

Scottish girls took the top four places in the 50m butterfly final, with Keanna MacInnes (University of Stirling) winning the event in 27.27. Lucy Grieve (South Ayrshire Swim Team) who earlier in the meet posted a consideration time for 100m butterfly for the European Junior Championships in Rome next week, was second in 27.65. Yasmin Perry (University of Aberdeen Performance) and Katie Robertson (Edinburgh University) were third 27.75) and fourth (28.11) respectively.

After the race MacInnes said,

“It was good, although a bit slower than last night. I had less power and I did an extra stroke than I normally do, but other than that, a good race and a fun event to finish off the Meet.

“It has been strange coming back from Budapest and almost straight into this Meet. We continued to taper and did some power stuff between the two but it is good to be back racing in Scotland and so close to home.”

Speaking about her first senior experience in Budapest, MacInnes said,

“It was good getting know different people and very different to the junior teams I’m used to. Everyone was very welcoming and friendly. I think because of that it was really positive and for future teams I’ll be less anxious going in knowing everyone is very kind.”

Looking ahead MacInnes spoke of next year’s Commonwealth Games and said,

“It is obviously a small team for Birmingham and a lot of us are now thinking forward to then. There’s not much else going on for this season so I’ll probably do a bit more training, have a break, then start back earlier in preparation for the year ahead.”

In the Men’s 50m final, Stephen Clegg (Edinburgh University) finished in 25.59. Clegg, S12, also went onto contest the MC 100m freestyle final finishing in a time of 54.29. S14 athletes Louis Lawlor (City of Glasgow), Conner Morrison (University of Aberdeen Performance) and Jack Milne (Dundee City Aquatics) finished in 54.61, 58.15 and 58.49 respectively.

Lauren Wetherell (Ellesmere Titans) had a very busy morning, with little time between the 1500m and 400m freestyle events. Wetherell finished fifth overall in both with times of 17:29.30 and 4:26.52 respectively.

City of Glasgow Swim Team’s Katie Shanahan continues to put her senior European Championships experience to good use with another strong performance in the 100m backstroke final. The 16 year old who is looking to compete at her second European Junior Championships next month finished second in a new personal best time of 1:02.29. Holly McGill (Hearts) was sixth in 1:05.14 and Ellie Turner (Perth City) eighth in 1:05.72. S13 swimmer Abby Kane (University of Stirling) raced in the MC final of the event.

Shanahan’s Glasgow team-mate, Mark Ford, also smashed his personal best in the 100m backstroke B final posting a time of 56.00 to dip under the European Junior consideration time, for what would be his last junior event.

In the men’s 100m backstroke, Louis Lawlor (City of Glasgow Swim Team) swam solo in the MC final finishing in 1:01.67, while University of Stirling’s Craig McNally and Martyn Walton finished second (54.87) and fifth (55.06) respectively in the ‘A’ final.

In other events Oliver Carter S10 (University of Stirling) was another MC athlete who had to swim a solo final, this time in the 400m freestyle, while in the ‘A’ final Stephen Milne (University of Stirling) and Charlie Hutchison (Loughborough University) finished in third and seventh place respectively. Milne also raced in the final of the 100m freestyle where he finished in a time of 50.16 for third.

Speaking after the Meet, National Coach, Alan Lynn, said,

“The Glasgow Meet was another excellent opportunity for our swimmers to race tough and learn. Tokyo-bound swimmers got the chance to rehearse for evening heats and morning finals. Following the excellent performances last month in Budapest, times weren't the order of the day, executing preparation and race strategies were the priority. It's back to the training pool now to finish investing in physiological and technical targets ahead of travel to Japan.

"Aspiring juniors had their final chance to set standards for consideration to be selected for the European Junior Championships in Rome next month. Several young Scottish swimmers showed strongly and will feature in selection decisions later next week. A few more weeks of preparation will hopefully see even better swims in the Eternal city.

"For the rest of the Scottish contingent, quality competition was at a premium as they squared up to world class opposition and acquitted themselves extremely well. It's also back to the training pool for them as they head into the exciting Summer Festival of Swimming event to close a challenging season."

The Glasgow Meet sees finals taking place in the morning sessions (starting at 10am), with heats hosted from 5.30pm in the evenings. There is also a junior element, with heat-declared-winner races taking place in a mid-afternoon session. 

The action can be followed via the British Swimming YouTube channel and the results can be accessed HERE. Results of the junior meet can be found HERE.