Scottish swimmer Craig Benson (17, Livingston) made it a clean sweep of gold medals in the breaststroke, with another stunning swim in the 50m last night at the National Sports Centre.
Craig picked up his first gold on the opening night in the 100m and added to it on day two in the 200m. He was also part of the silver medal winning 4x100m medley relay team on day one. Craig was in confident mood going into the 50m breaststroke, and looked comfortable finishing in 27.79s. Commonwealth Games Scotland, Chief Executive Jon Doig was on hand to present Benson with his third gold medal in as many days.
Delighted with his performances over the weekend Craig said: “I am really pleased with my performances this week, and obviously I aimed to go for three golds but I didn’t know if I would be able to do it. Being part of the Team Scotland has been so much fun. Sometimes at competitions it can feel like you’re under so much pressure, but here I have just been focused on performing well and enjoying myself.”
With the next Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Craig is focussed on making the step up to the senior event. “Glasgow is a huge focus”, he said. “You don’t get to represent Scotland at any other competition than the Commonwealth Games so it’s really special. It would be such an amazing feeling to sing Flower of Scotland in the pool in 2014. I saw how the Isle of Man crowd were with their home swimmers and it would be incredible to experience that in Glasgow.”
He continued: “I want to try and qualify for the London Olympics, and I have an outside chance there. After that I have three years, so I’ll hopefully be a good age and experienced enough to win medals in Glasgow.”
Elsewhere yesterday there were four early bronze medals for Scotland in the pool with Emily Jones (16, Inverurie) and Fiona Donnelly (16, Derbyshire) finishing in a dead heat for bronze in the 400m individual medley on 4:45.68. Charlotte McKenzie (14, Stenhousemuir) won bronze in the 50m backstroke in 28.43s while Mark Szaranek won bronze in the 200m individual medley (2:03.02).
Swimming have contributed 11 medals and nine medallists to Youth Team Scotland’s total of 22 medals and 19 medallists.
Aside from the podium finishes, our athletes have set a host of personal best times, and really embraced what being a part of Youth Team Scotland means.