Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Super seven post consideration times for Birmingham Commonwealth Games

The British Swimming Championships got off to a flying start with seven Scottish athletes posting Team Scotland consideration times for Birmingham. The event which is taking place at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre is the key selection meet for international events across the summer, including the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

Scott Gibson backed up a record-breaking heat swim with another strong performance in the final of the 50m backstroke. The Edinburgh University athlete touched home in 25.38 this morning breaking the Scottish record he set for the event at BUCS back in February. He couldn’t quite match the speed in the final, finishing second in a time of 25.45, still within the consideration standard for Birmingham. He said of his performance,

“I’m super happy with it giving all things considered; two weeks ago, I tested positive for Covid so to come here and even just swim best times is more than I could ask for. Every time I’ve raced the event this season, I’ve been under the consideration time so I’m happy that I’ve been consistent there and will keep pushing it on this summer.”

Speaking at the prospect of being part of Team Scotland, Gibson said,

“It would be amazing to be in my first international team and competing for Scotland. Edinburgh University has a great programme and reputation at the Commonwealth Games. We’ve had a couple of changes and the whole structure and team itself is the best place to push on and hopefully a lot of my teammates will be on that team as well.”

In the earlier B final for 50m backstroke, Martyn Walton looked both stunned and elated as he saw that he too had posted a consideration time for the event, touching home in 25.59. The University of Stirling athlete said of his performance,

“I wasn’t too happy with the heat this morning, made a couple of mistakes and ended up in the B final. I just had to reset after I did a few of things wrong. I think I nailed them tonight and got the time. I was very nervous, it’s one of the biggest swims I’ve done. I’ve not had a chance to qualify for anything in a while or been that close, it’s been amazing to do that time. I was really feeling the pressure coming in to what was potentially my last meet if I didn’t make a consideration time so buzzing with that and I couldn’t be happier.”

Walton’s team-mate, Craig McNally, finished just 0.02 off the consideration time in 25.69.

Edinburgh University’s Kara Hanlon also backed up early season performances with another strong show in the 50m breaststroke final. Hanlon won bronze in 31.13, which is inside the consideration standard for Birmingham. Her Edinburgh team-mate, Katie Goodburn, finished fourth in 31.66.

Hanlon said of her performance,

“I’m just chuffed, I feel like that’s kind of a nice job done on the first day and now I can now get into the meet and hopefully produce some good swimming in the 200 and 100 later in the week. My goal is to qualify in all of the three breaststroke events for Birmingham so on the first day we are one part of the way there and it’s a good start.

“It would mean everything to be selected to Team Scotland, it’s something I’ve been chasing for a long time, and I obviously missed out very narrowly in 2018 and that was pretty tough, so to come and do it four years later is everything I wanted.”

Katie Shanahan may have been disappointed with her performance in the 400m IM, but the 17-year-old City of Glasgow Swim Team athlete still secured bronze and a Birmingham Commonwealth Games consideration time, touching home in 4:44.01. She said,

“I didn’t really swim up to my expectations there, I’m disappointed but I know I should focus on the fact that that was a consideration time. There is a lot of pressure here to do well, I think people would have expected more from me in that event, but it’s day one and hopefully that will set me up now for the rest of the meet and I can put in some solid performances and post more consideration times.”

Yvonne Brown (University of Aberdeen Performance) finished just shy of her personal best, in 4:49.81.

Earlier in the day, Craig Benson (City of Glasgow Swim Team), Ross Murdoch (University of Stirling) and Archie Goodburn (Edinburgh University) lined up together in the heats of the 100m breaststroke, with all three athletes posting the consideration time for the event in Birmingham. Benson and Murdoch withdrew from the final, leaving Goodburn to line up alongside Olympic Champion and World Record Holder for the event.

Goodburn finished fourth in 1:00.87, slower than this morning, but was happy with his day’s work. He said,

“It was unreal this morning with Ross and Craig. It’s been an up and down time for me coming off the back of World Juniors in 2019. I moved to the Loughborough National Training Centre, I felt that was the right decision at the time and it’s a great programme there. Two and a half years on and with Covid I made the decision to return to Edinburgh and I'm so grateful to Mat (Trodden) and Chris (Jones) for welcoming me into the squad. It was time for a change and I’m delighted that things are starting to pan out now.

“I said to Craig (Benson) before the 50 this morning, ‘how awesome would it be if we all got the time in the same race ‘and then it went and happened. I’ve really overjoyed at how today has gone, though a bit frustrated at the final. My sister (Katie) swam really well today and it’s great to see the family and the team on form. I’m really enjoying competing again and being back on my PBs.”

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.