The young pretender and the polished performer met the media in the Granite City as Team Scotland’s swimmers and divers complete their final preparations ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Delhi 2010 Commonwealth 400m Individual Medley Gold medallist Hannah Miley and Team Scotland’s youngest ever athlete, 13-year-old Para-Sport SB9 100m Breaststroke swimmer Erraid Davies, welcomed the media to their training base at the Aberdeen Aquatics Centre.
All 44 Aquatics athletes are together, enjoying team camaraderie before the swimmers head to the Tollcross International Swimming Centre for six days of competition from Thursday 24 July. Following straight on from this is the two-day Diving programme, which gets under way at the Royal Commonwealth Pool on Wednesday 30 July.
North East swimmers were out in force for the media gathering, with Hannah, from Inverurie, and Erraid, from the Shetland Isles joined by Aberdeen-based swimmers Rachel Masson and Andrew McGovern and Inverurie-born Cameron Brodie.
Hannah kindly passed on some interview tips to Erraid and discussed her focus on defending her Commonwealth title. “I am expecting to face a stiff challenge from Aimee Wilmott and there are a couple of Australian girls who are six seconds behind, based on the Trials, but I’m not thinking because they’re six seconds behind, they are not to be thought about,” said Hannah.
“I’m always aware of the rivals that are around me and I have a respect and appreciation that anything can happen. I don’t leave things to chance and don’t assume things. It’s all about what I control. As much as I’d like to, I can’t control what my competitors do. I might be able to produce a four or five second PB and that might be a Silver or Bronze. I can’t argue with that, I’ve produced the best time I possibly could, but other people were just able to produce better times. For me, that puts it into perspective that I just have to control what I can do. The one thing I know I definitely can’t control is the result.
“My dad is the main driving force; he taught me how to swim, he coached me and he still coaches me to this day. To be able to show off the hard work he has put in is a nice reward for me. I like to be able to take as many people as I can on the journey as it’s a way for me to give back to them, especially when I am successful it’s because of them. Knowing that at the end of the race I can go and hug my dad is one of my favourite parts.”
The team camaraderie is there for all to see and for Erraid, this represents a whole new chapter in her swimming career. Erraid said: “When I was selected we thought I was going to be the youngest for these Games, but I had no idea I would be the youngest ever for Team Scotland and I’m really excited about it. I’m really looking to get as much experience as I can. I’m not asking for much; I just want to make the most of the opportunity.”
You can follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahMiley89
Photo credit: Getty Images