Saturday, December 11, 2021

Shanahan continues form ahead of World Championships debut

Katie Shanahan showed just how adaptable a swimmer she is, winning the 200m breaststroke final on the middle day of competition at the Scottish Winter Short Course Meet , which is taking part at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.

Shanahan (City of Glasgow Swim Team) led from the off and held off a very strong challenge from Kata Hanlon (Edinburgh University) to take the win in a time of 2:24.59. Hanlon touched second in 2:24.73, with her Edinburgh team-mate, Katie Robertson, finishing third in 2:26.41.

Shanahan said of her performance,

“I really just came into this competition wanting to get down as many of my races that I’ve not done much of this season. That 200 breaststroke, I thought what a perfect opportunity. I spoke with Ian (Wright) before, and he just wanted me to push it from the very start. I think I’ll start doing that in all my races now!”

On the eve of her departure to the FINA World Short Course Championships in Abu Dhabi, Shanahan said,

“These will be my first World Champs and I’d say I’m more excited than nervous. There’s no pressure on me, however I do, I do, although I’m obviously hoping to do well. Coming off the back of the ISL it’s been really good. I felt with every match I was getting faster and faster, and I’ve been swimming quite well here. I’m just hoping to carry on that rhythm and get better and better for next week.”

After an incredible year which has seen Shanahan compete at the European Championships, European Juniors and ISL, Shanahan talked about her increased profile. She said,

“I feel my name is definitely out there a lot more, especially with other competitors around the world. And I think after the Europeans, European Juniors and ISL I’m better known around swimming in the UK. I don’t really think too much about it, I just want to do as well as I can at worlds and continue my swimming on that world stage.”

Tain Bruce enjoyed a successful night with a hat-trick of wins in the 100m butterfly, 50m freestyle and as part of the Edinburgh University 4x50m mixed medley team.

In a highly competitive 100m butterfly final, Bruce took the touch in 58.09, ahead of last night’s 50m fly winner, Lucy Grieve (South Ayrshire Swim Team). Grieve was second in 58.88, with University of Stirling’s Keanna MacInnes taking bronze in 59.05.

With only a very short break, Bruce was back taking victory in the 50m freestyle in a time of 25.13. Emma Russell (University of Stirling) took silver in 25.26, with Bruce’s Edinburgh team-mate, Katie Goodburn, winning bronze in 25.48.

Bruce said of her evening’s work,

“That was a pretty tough double but I’m happy to come away with two wins. I think especially the freestyle, that was a bit of a surprise and I’m really happy with how my freestyle has been going lately.

“Butterfly in Scotland has really started to take off which is good. It’s nice to have some very competitive races here in Scotland, and that was a good final. “

Her final victory came with team-mates, Scott Gibson, Kara Hanlon and David Cumberlidge in the mixed 4x50m medley, where the quartet broke the Scottish Club Record in a time of 1:42.69. Bruce spoke of her Edinburgh team,

“The team have had a really good short course season. We’ve had a bit of a squad reshuffle and the new environment is really working for me. I’m enjoying working with both Chris (Jones) and Mat (Trodden) and getting the best out of both of them. I believe I’m really capitalising on that, and I look forward to carrying that on into the long course season.

“My goal is to be at the Commonwealth Games. I only narrowly missed out on the Gold Coast in 2018 and that’s made me even more determined to train and race hard in the months to come. I’m so grateful to have such a great and supporting group of people around me all chasing that same goal. Our team bond is strong and the environment is one I’m still excited about and proud to be part of.”

Earlier in the day team-mate Scott Gibson broke the Scottish 50m backstroke record in a time of 23.94, and Stephen Clegg continued his incredible form with a new World’s best time for S12 50m backstroke of 26.15.

Craig Benson secured his brace of breaststroke gold medals with victory in the 100m event. The City of Glasgow Swim Team athlete was pushed all the way to the wall but took the touch in 59.05, just ahead of Uiseann Cooke (Edinburgh University) who was second in 59.21. Cooke’s Edinburgh team-mate, Nick Quinn, was third in 1:00.27.

Benson spoke of his return to racing and said,

“It’s ood to be back and racing again. It’s been a long time since I raced, especially short course. I think the last time was in 2019 at this very meet.

“I’ve altered my training quite a lot since I started working. I started working in September last year. Since then I’ve changed my programme to be a lot more sprint orientated so targeting the 50m and I only swim three sessions a week compared to the nine or ten I used to do. It’s a lot different although the sessions I now do are all really high intensity, so I go really hard in the sessions and then recover in between the sessions. I also have to train a lot earlier than I used to do in order that I can fit the training in before work.

“Its quite a challenge but I love having something else away from the work place. I’m enjoying taking myself out of the work environment and have something else to focus on. I’ve always loved swimming and the feeling of trying to improve and get better, week on week, is what I love about the sport.”

Full results can be found on the Swim Scotland website.

All sessions can be viewed on YouTube via our Live Steam

The Scottish Winter Short Course Meet is taking place at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh between 10th – 12th December.