Friday, April 8, 2022

Shanahan secures first senior British Title

Katie Shanahan secured the first senior British title of her career, with victory in the 200m backstroke on day four of the British Swimming Championships, which are taking place in Sheffield.

Katie Shanahan and Holly McGill made it a Scottish 1-2 in the final of the 200m backstroke, with both girls securing consideration times for the Commonwealth Games and European Juniors respectively. Shanahan and McGill were fastest qualifiers after the heats but it was Loughborough University’s Honey Osrin who set the early pace, turning first at the half way mark.

It was in the final 50m when Shanahan and McGill made their charge, with Shanahan holding on to take the touch in a time of 2:11.25. McGill finished with a lifetime best of 2:11.84 with Osrin taking bronze in 2:12.12.

Shanahan, who is coached by Ian Wright at City of Glasgow Swim Team, said of her performance,

“That's my first senior national title. I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into that event, I’ve been quite unwell the last few weeks, which hasn’t been the best lead up into Trials.

“I knew I had to put on a good race with the girls because I knew they'd come back strong. I could see all the girls coming for me. That last 5m, I tried to hold my ground and push as hard as I could to the wall, because Holly (McGill) is such a good talent, she got a massive PB there.”

With her second consideration time for Birmingham secured, Shanahan said of her selection prospects,

“That's two in the bag now for the Commies, I'm really happy and excited, so hopefully I'll be selected for the team.”

Speaking about the atmosphere in Ponds Forge with spectators returning for the first time, Shanahan continued,

“It's so good to have everyone here. My mum is up there in the stands, I'm sure everyone else's mums and dads are too. All my teammates are behind and it is so it's so so good to have the crowd back. It really helps me, coming down that back 50m especially. For Commies as well, it will be great for the Home Nations - I'm sure everyone will be behind all of us.”

McGill (Heart of Midlothian) was also delighted with her backstroke performances and said,

“Yeah I’m really happy, I was surprised at how fast I was this morning, and then this evening, being in the final, just added to the buzz.”

“The goal for this season was to make a team, not sure what’s going on with World Juniors at the moment, so Europeans was the goal. I just missed out on the team last year and that has really spurred me on. It will be great to be part of a British team, I’ve only ever worn the Scottish Swimming cap before, so it will be great to wear a British one.”

Lucy Hope was both relieved and elated at securing a Team Scotland consideration time for Birmingham with a strong performance in the final of the 100m freestyle. Hope (University of Stirling) finished in a time of 55.14 to take the bronze medal, behind Anna Hopkin (Loughborough NC) and Freya Anderson (Bath NC) who won gold and silver respectively.

Evie Davis (Bromley) finished seventh in the same final in a time of 55.49. Hope said of her performance,

“The times I went last year were way under the qualification standards so I was maybe a little bit shocked to take until Day 4 to do the time.  Obviously moving programmes has been a bit different, getting used to the training at Stirling. I maybe didn’t have the best prep going into this meet but to just sneak under that qualification time is a bit of a weight off my chest.”

When asked if she felt the pressure was building the more the meet went on, Hope said,

“Yes, you always feel pressure at major meets, especially in a situation like this where you are focused so much on making times. A lot of people have beaten their times throughout the year, and I’ve maybe just came close or just missed out. You don’t want to end up chasing times, you just want to go out and execute your race and I think that’s what I did tonight.

“I was getting really, really nervous that I was going to miss out [on the Commonwealth Games Team]. Ross has come back and got a time for the team and [Craig] Benson as well, and I was thinking ‘I can’t miss out on this!’

“I love representing Scotland, I’m so close to the whole group and it’s just such a nice atmosphere, being with your teammates, being with people you have raced your whole life. Except you’re on the same team and you’re working together to represent Scotland to your best ability. So fingers crossed that I’m on the team and I can’t wait for Birmingham!”

Gregor Swinney from City of Glasgow Swim Team contested the A final of the 100m butterfly, finishing eighth in 53.98. In the B final of the event, Archie Goodburn (Edinburgh University), Evan Jones (Millfield) and Tom Beeley (Plymouth Leander) made it a Scottish 1-2-3.

Full results from all finals across the meet can be found here.

The Team Scotland selection policy for aquatics (including swimming, diving and para-swimming), can be found here.

Selection policies for the World Championships, European Championships, European Junior Championships and European Youth Olympic Festival can be found here.

The British Swimming Championships are being streamed live on the British Swimming YouTube page.