Friday, June 4, 2021

Scott and Dawson shine in opening finals at Glasgow Meet

With the Meet being used as preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games the first finals of the British Swimming Glasgow Meet, being held at Tollcross International Swimming Centre, were raced this morning with Duncan Scott and Kathleen Dawson leading the charge in the 200m individual medley and 200m backstroke respectively.

In a stacked final, University of Stirling athlete Scott, hit the front of the pack at the half way mark, pulling away to take the touch in 1:57.28. Max Litchfield edged out brother Joe (both Loughborough NC) for second in 1:59.12, with Joe 0.01 behind in 1:59.13.

Scott said of his performance,

“Time wise it was good, but I guess you can’t really look into a time. I’m not here to focus on the time, I’m learning things for morning finals. I’ve done quite a lot of preparation for that and from a British Swimming point, we’re all looking at different things here.  People are trying out different plans and I think it’s quite a good idea to have this meet on. It’s a good exercise to trial and really improve on what we can do in the morning before we have finals.”

Looking ahead to Tokyo and Olympic finals being in the morning, Scott continued,

“You have to get used to the fact that you could be going to bed with a semi-final the next morning or even a final. Or you could have swam really great in the morning and know you have to come back and not be complacent and put in a really good heat swim. It is the evening and people can be fast. It is a different mindset, but in Beijing there were quick swims in the morning and there’s plenty of good people out there who can do it.”

Charlie Hutchison (Loughborough University) and Mark Szaranek (University of Stirling) finished in 5th and 6th place respectively.

Kathleen Dawson continued the excellent form she showed at the European Championships in Budapest, winning the 200m backstroke. The University of Stirling student eased to victory in 2:08.85 and said of her performance,

“It’s good to be able to come into this and adapt to doing morning finals. I did well, I’m happy with the swim. I did everything I could to beat Cassie’s Scottish record but it wasn’t to be! We’ve both been swimming so well in training and she absolutely deserved it and I was really pleased for her.   

“I’ve got confidence in my ability to come back in that last 50m on the 100m, so to be able to swim as well as that in the morning in the 200m gives me a lot of confidence for the morning finals in Tokyo.”

GBR teammates from the European Championships, Katie Shanahan (City of Glasgow Swim Team) and Cassie Wild (University of Stirling) finished in 2:12.79 and 2:14.26 for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Shanahan, who won gold in the event at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Baku back in 2019, and came 6th in her debut senior final in Budapest, said of the event,

“I think this event has been a bit of a surprise for me. I certainly didn’t expect to go as fast as I did at the Europeans and this morning was a good back up to my performance in Budapest. Yes, it’s off my PB but decent enough.

“This is definitely different to the usual meet, but you just have to adapt things as this is helping preparations for those going to Tokyo. I am keeping the same mindset as I normally would for finals, and just tried not to think it was the morning. I woke up early this morning to try and get my body into the swing of things and I did a longer warm up as I would with evening finals.”

Other Scottish finalists in the 200m backstroke A final were Holly McGill (Hearts) and Rachel Saunders (Warrender Baths Club) who finished in 6th and 7th place respectively.

In the men’s 200m back final, Craig McNally (University of Stirling) finished in 1:58.59 for 3rd.

Para swimmers are also in action at the Meet and Stephen Clegg again showed his class in the MC 100m butterfly final. The S12 Edinburgh University athlete powered to victory in 57.47 and said of his performance,

“It felt really smooth and controlled. We are in a hard block of work; off the back of the trials there’s not really any time for tapering ahead of Tokyo, so we’re just trying to get a solid block of training in, so for that sort of time in this sort of condition I’m really pleased with that time and I’m happy with executing my race plan.

“It is great to swim fast in season, it bodes well, but the end goal is Tokyo. You want to give your best performance every time you race but the plan is to do the best time and everything is lining up to do something special over there.”

Louis Lawlor, S14, (City of Glasgow Swim Team), Jack Milne, S14 (Dundee City Aquatics), Scott Quin, S14, (Edinburgh University) and Oliver Carter, S10, (University of Stirling) made up the all Scottish final.

In the Women’s 100m fly open final, Keanna MacInnes finished 2nd overall in 59.57 and said of her race,

“I’m happy with that, being a morning swim and it’s the final. It’s the first time I’ve done that. I’ve hit it hard in both heat and final, and hope that this morning will prepare me well for the heat of the 200 tonight.”

Tain Bruce (Edinburgh University) and Yasmin Perry (University of Aberdeen Performance) finished in 4th and 7th respectively, while in the Men’s event, Gregor Swinney (City of Glasgow Swim Team) was just shy of his personal best, finishing the final in 54.81 for 5th. Archie Goodburn (Loughborough) and Tom Beeley (Plymouth Leander) were 6th and 8th respectively.

Toni Shaw was back in action for the MC 50m free final. Having broken the Scottish Record (S9) in last night’s heat, she couldn’t quite match the speed this morning, but was happy with her 30.11 and said,

“I kind of treated last night as the final and then just tried to go as fast this morning. I was happy with the swim yesterday; I don’t usually do the 50 free and it’s my first time going sub 30, which I’ve been trying to do for two years, so I can finally tick it off.”

University of Stirling’s Abby Kane (S13) had a busy morning, contesting not only the 50m freestyle but the 200m IM.

Andy Mullen made a welcome competitive return to his home pool in the MC 50m free final. The City of Glasgow Swim Team’s athlete finished in 35.96 and was clearly happy with his performance. He said,

“I’m super pleased with that. It’s the best swim I’ve done for probably a couple of seasons. The past couple of seasons have been pretty disrupted with both a little bit of time away from the sport and obviously Covid got chucked into the works, so it’s been a hard time for everyone but really happy with the work I’ve been able to do post lockdown. I am really pleased with that swim.”

Mullen’s Glasgow team-mate, Louis Lawlor won the event in 25.00.

In the women’s 50m free open final Edinburgh University’s Lucy Hope finished 2nd overall in 25.47, with Evie Davis (Bromley) just taking the touch ahead of Emma Russell (University of Stirling) in 25.72 and 25.73 respectively. In the men’s 50m free open final, Jack Thorpe finished 6th in 22.81.

The 50m breaststroke finished the morning session, with Kara Hanlon (Edinburgh University) finishing 2nd in 31.81, Warrender’s Katie Goodburn finishing 4th in 32.75 and Katie Robertson (Edinburgh University) 8th in 33.24. In the men’s event, Ross Murdoch (University of Stirling) finished 3rd in 27.85.

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.