Sunday, March 13, 2022

Shanahan shines despite setbacks

The third and final day of the Edinburgh International Swim Meet ended with another busy day for Scottish Swimmers.

Katie Shanahan was the Scottish star of the day, taking the 200m Backstroke title in a thrilling final, coming ahead of the impressive 17-year-old Holly McGill, in a time of 2:12.72.

Shanahan backed it up with a third place in the 200IM final – with a time of 2:16.37, behind Abbie Wood and Freya Colbert. This was despite a far from ideal preparation for the meet.

Katie said: “I was really happy with the 200 back, it’s always such a good race, and all the girls in it made it really competitive, especially Honey [Osrin] and Holly [McGill]. I know that my back end is strong, so even if my first 100 is slower I can get back in it. I was a bit apprehensive when I touched the wall because it was so close, and I couldn’t see Honey – but I was relieved when I saw I was first.”

Speaking of the third in the 200 IM, Katie said: “I’ve been quite ill for the past few weeks so this meet hasn’t quite gone the way I’d hoped it would. I was on antibiotics and had a cold, so I’ve missed quite a lot of training, and didn’t really expect to swim my best. As long as I’m swimming well at trials that’s the main thing.”

Heading into trials Katie said: “I am feeling confident, this meet has been a really good steppingstone into trials and getting to see where I’m at. My main focus is working on my breaststroke, because that’s holding me back a bit, so over the next few weeks I’m really going to be hammering that, and focusing on turns, starts and dives.”

Craig McNally nearly took victory in the 200m Backstroke event, with an almost expertly timed charge in the final 50m.

The veteran, who is hoping to make the Scotland team for this summer’s Commonwealth Games for the fourth time, came home in a time of 2:01.16.

He said of his swim: “I don’t go into the 200 with much of a plan really, I just go out there and try and have a bit of fun with it. For me it’s about enjoying things and enjoying splitting it differently to everyone else. It was a fun race, and at 29 I’m still going!

“I managed to do quite strong 100 back on Friday, and it was about all I could expect from that at this point in the season and the 50 went okay as well.

“I’m just trying to get on that Commie games team again and see how close to it I can get to it as it would be my last Commonwealth Games, and good to finish off where I started.”

Elsewhere on the final day of competition, Jacob Whittle was crowned champion in the 100m Freestyle, after Duncan Scott pulled out of the event, despite a strong heat performance.

Keanna Macinnes narrowly missed out on first place in the women’s 50m Butterfly skins final, taking second in a time of 26:91, just behind Louise Hansson of Loughborough in 26:77.

Stephen Milne was 4th in a strong 400m Freestyle final, finishing in 3:55.60, the two-time Commonwealth swimmer kept pace with the top 3 until the last 50.

Kara Hanlon placed fifth in the women’s 200m Breaststroke, with a time of 2:21.77, despite a strong opening 150m, and James Wilby took the 50m men’s Breaststroke title, whilst Loughborough teammate Anna Hopkin was narrowly beaten to the 100m Freestyle Gold by Freya Anderson.

Stirling University’s Lucy Hope came in 4th in the women’s 100m Free Final, with Tain Bruce of Edinburgh University one place behind in 5th.

Throughout the three days of the meet Para athletes took part in morning sessions with a number of impressive performances.

On Sunday, Stephen Clegg carried on his impressive form in the 100m Butterfly, coming home in a time of 57.74, just over a second over his World Record.

Stephen said: “I thought that I was a little tight through the first 50m or so, but I had a few technical elements I wanted to execute, and I thought I got a few of those down. It’s quite a bit slower than I did a few weeks ago at the World Para Series in Aberdeen but I’m in pretty heavy training right now so it’s not a bad time for this part of the year.

“I’m hoping to go to the British Championships next month and improve on the time I did in Aberdeen – I have my eyes on a low 56 for the 100 fly, that’s where my heads at at the moment.

“It’s been really nice to get back to swimming with an atmosphere as well, it’s made it such an enjoyable meet to swim at. It’s been as close to normal as we’ve been for a couple of years which is great.”

S10 swimmer Ollie Carter, who last month was named on the GB team for June’s Para World Championships in Madeira, was also happy with his meet.

He said: “This has been a tough meet as I’ve come off the back of a period of tapering, so my body isn’t quite in the right state to bash out a really fast swim, but it’s been really useful to target some process goals and focus on technique work.

“The focus of the whole competition has been practicing race protocols and race skills in what is a relatively inconsequential meet – it’s a great opportunity to focus on these things. All the swims I’ve done this weekend have felt very tidy and all looked really good, there’s just been no speed – but speed will come.”

S9 swimmer Toni Shaw ended her meet with another busy day, taking part in both the 100, Freestyle and 200IM events in Sunday’s morning sessions.

She said: “This is another chance for us to get race experience, and with it being a mixed meet with para and able-bodied swimmers all together it’s been super nice to race with our teammates.”


Full results from the meet can be found on the EISM website 

All sessions can be watched again via the Streamscene Youtube channel.