Friday, February 18, 2022

Medal charge continues at Para Swimming World Series in Aberdeen

Scott Quin and Conner Morrison provided a GBR 1-2 in the breaststroke World Series final, while Stephen Clegg and Louis Lawlor continued their medal run, on the second day of competition at the Para Swimming World Series incorporating the British Para-Swimming Meet in Aberdeen.

Quin (SB14), the Paralympic bronze medallist from Tokyo, backed up a strong heat swim with a dominant final, coming home in a time of 1:06.64 for 900 points. Conner Morrison (SB14) swam a strong final to take silver in 1:08.82 for 795 points, while Iceland’s Robert Isak Jonsson won bronze in 1:09.01 for 789 points.

Edinburgh University athlete Quin, said of his performance,

“I'm really happy with that swim tonight. This morning was a 66.7, so I was quite happy with that - it's a morning swim, I know from experience that you're not always going to feel fresh in the morning. So I came in tonight and I thought, 'I've qualified, hit the time for pre-selection, so I'll just enjoy myself and do something different'. You don't get the opportunity to just enjoy racing at meets like this - I think this is my 11th World Series meet, so I've been around here quite a long time!

“It's just nice to have that competitive edge to everything again. It's a shame we don't have spectators and more athletes from around the world coming over. But for me, I'm 31, and I just enjoy racing. You have to embrace the situation we are in. I think I'm becoming a wiser man; I'm learning to enjoy myself as well and not get uptight about everything.”

Morrison, who trains with Gregor McMillan at University of Aberdeen Performance, said of his performance in the final,

“I’m pleased with the silver medal, I’m pleased with the time and I’m really pleased with how I executed what I wanted to do in the race.

“Gregor and I discussed my heat performance straight after the race and talked over what I wanted to do in the final and I’m pleased with the changes I made. This is my home pool and I’m racing on my home turf, and it is pretty exciting. Next month I’ll be in Edinburgh (Edinburgh International Swim Meet) and I’ll be racing the 50, 100 and 200 events and it’s a case of watch this space, I’m looking forward to moving things on again there.”

Gavin Roberts SB14 (City of Glasgow Swim Team) and Jack Milne SB14 (Dundee City Aquatics) finished the World Series Final in 5th and 8th place respectively.

In the Women’s MC 100m breaststroke World Series final, Abby Kane SB13 (University of Stirling) finished 13th overall, while Laura Pilkington SB5 (FIRST) finished in 20th. In the MC National final for the event, Amy MacFarland SB14 (Motherwell & Wishaw) finished in 7th.

Stephen Clegg S12 was again on form, taking home gold in the 100m backstroke World Series final in a time of 1:01.76 (887 points). The Edinburgh University athlete swam a controlled final to take the win, ahead of Inigo Llopis Sanz of Spain, S8, who won silver in 1:07.83 (784 points) while Louis Lawlor took the bronze in 1:02.08 (769 points).

Clegg, who won bronze in Tokyo for the event, said of his performance,

“I'm pretty pleased but I was hoping for a little bit quicker. I noticed some technical errors this morning that I tried to fix and got some of them, but I was still out a bit too slow this afternoon. There's still some work to be done there, but it's not the main focus for me, so all in all, I'm pretty pleased.

“This meet, I've had no pressure, no expectation on what I want to get out of it. I've not trained too intensely recently, so this was about getting back into the swing of racing and enjoying the experience.

“The 100m Butterfly is always my main event, that's where most of my focus in training goes. I'm always excited to race that, it's good fun and there's some competitive swimming going on this week, so hopefully there's more to come.”

Lawlor, City of Glasgow Swim Team, said of his final,

“That was just a couple of tenths off the time I swam in the Tokyo final and I’m happier than I was this morning, it felt slow this morning. Things are pointing in the right direction.”

Speaking about training under Ian Wright, Lawlor continued,

“Ian gives me more responsibility. As you get older you’re doing things for yourself, nobody else. Obviously when you are a national age group swimmer you’ve a team around you, more is done for you, but as you get older, you take on more yourself.

“I definitely hope to make the next World Championships and I’m already looking ahead to the Paris Paralympics in 2024.”

The final also saw another great improvement by 15-year old Sam Downie who swims at East Lothian Swim Team. Downie finished in 8th with another personal best time of 1:12.71 (636 points) and said of his performance,

“This is the result of the hours of training I’ve been doing. I’m currently on around seven sessions per week, putting in land sessions once a week as well. It’s been a long, hard journey but I think it’s beginning to pay off.

“Once you have your international classification there are so many more doors that open. I think there will be a lot more opportunities. That was my first World Series final that I’ve ever done. It’s a big experience and I hope there’s more to come.”

Speaking about the partnership he has with his coach, Jamie Ward, Downie said,

“Working with Jamie, he’s a great coach, I work really well with him, and I feel he’s also a mate as well as my coach, which is great to have in a training environment.

“I’m looking forward to the 400m freestyle tomorrow, I’m beginning to enjoy the event more and my time is dropping and it has become one of my main events, which is not what I thought would happen when I first started doing it.”

In the MC National 100m backstroke final, Dylan Bleakley S14 (East Lothian Swim Team) and Jake Woods S9 (City of Glasgow Swim Team) finished 3rd and 10th respectively. In the MC National final for Women, Katie Pake S10 (Carnegie) finished 8th.

The racing is being streamed live on the British Swimming Facebook and YouTube pages. The action can be followed ac

Results from the meet can be found HERE.