21st July 2014

Swimming Big Guns Ready to Take to the Blocks

Team Scotland’s Aquatics squad has arrived in the Athletes’ Village and enjoyed a relaxing dip in the water at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre ahead of six days of fierce competition from Thursday morning.

Fresh from their holding camp in Aberdeen, experienced Commonwealth medallists Robbie Renwick and Michael Jamieson, and emerging talent Ross Murdoch, admitted to having butterflies when seeing the normally familiar pool in which all three will compete on the opening night.

Jamieson is bidding to add a Commonwealth Gold to his Olympic Silver in the 200m Breaststroke on the first night of Swimming action. The Team Scotland poster-boy is fighting fit and knows all eyes will be on him on the opening day of competition.

“I’m OK with the pressure although now and then it’s not unknown for me to have a minor meltdown,” joked Jamieson. “The support I’ve been getting from everyone has been immense. Scots really know how to get behind their own. I’ve prepared the best way I can; at the holding camp in Aberdeen I was able to do my own thing, relax and just hang out with the rest of the team, which was ideal.

“It took a world record to beat me in London and I swam a PB during that final. This year alone I’ve matched that time of 2:07 twice, and I know I’m going to have to post a best time again on Thursday to be in the mix. I am feeling refreshed, I’m well prepared and I’m ready to race.”

Whereas Jamieson is now the experienced pro, Murdoch has quickly established himself as one to watch, his British 100m Breaststroke title at Tollcross another marker of his rising stock in the Swimming world.

Murdoch said: “Aberdeen was really calm and it was good to be away as a team. It was almost overwhelming when we arrived in Glasgow with the bus driving through town and people waving at you and cheering. I’m embracing this opportunity and know it will push me on come Games time. I think the crowd will play a huge part. I’ve not experienced a home crowd support at this level and I don’t think there are words to describe how I’m going to feel when I hear them cheer.

“Going into the competition I’m not feeling pressure apart from the pressure I put on myself. I’m in a good place physically, looking forward to racing and I’ll go into each event and perform the best I can for my Country.”

Defending Commonwealth 200m Freestyle Champion Robbie Renwick will clock up his third Commonwealth Games appearance this week and despite tough competition, can’t wait to get going.

He said: “There’s a couple of good Australians in my events, but at the end of the day rankings don’t matter, it’s all about the race and who touches the wall first and I know with home support that I can do well.

“Sports like swimming don’t get the huge amount of audiences as football, but I don’t do this for the fame, I do it to get the best out of myself and compete at the highest level against the best athletes in the world. Scotland continues to punch above its weight and the swim team are in great shape and we’re out to get medals this week.”

The Swimming competition starts on Thursday 24 July and continues until Tuesday 29July, before the Aquatics Diving programme begins on Wednesday 30 July at the Royal Commonwealth Pool.

Photo credit: Duncan McEwan

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