Whilst the 15th Swimming World Championships in Barcelona proved disappointing for Great Britain, with only one medal to celebrate, the seven Scots on the team have much to be positive about, as their focus turns to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next summer.
Robbie Renwick (Aberdeen/Glasgow) secured the best individual World Championship result of his career, finishing sixth in the 200m Freestyle and the first Commonwealth athlete to hit the pads. This is the title he will be defending in Glasgow next year in his home pool at Tollcross.
Hannah Miley (Inverurie) is also still well placed to defend her 400m Individual Medley title in Glasgow and while she was disappointed with her fifth place finish in Barcelona, she is confident that the improvement shown from London 2012 augurs well and that she’ll be in good shape come July 2014.
Hopes had been high for Michael Jamieson (Glasgow/Bath) who went into the World Championships with the fastest time in the world this year for 200m Breaststroke, the event he won Olympic silver in at London 2012 and also at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. However an arm injury earlier in the year thwarted his preparations for the World Championships and left him without the required fitness and “back-end” speed to secure a medal this time round, finishing fifth. Understandably frustrated with this setback, Jamieson plans to get straight back to training and focus on Glasgow 2014.
What was particularly pleasing to see, was how the new faces on the team coped under the pressure of a major Championship. Craig McNally (Edinburgh) competed in Delhi three years ago, but with a new found maturity he looked a completely different swimmer in Barcelona, finishing sixth in his first World Championships final and breaking the Scottish Record for the 200m Backstroke.
His Warrender team-mate, Dan Wallace (Edinburgh), also impressed, taking five seconds off his personal best to finish seventh in the 400m Individual Medley in a new Scottish record, becoming just the third Brit to duck under 4:14 minutes.
Ross Murdoch (Alexandria/Stirling) also enhanced his reputation as one of Britain’s leading 100m Breaststrokers. While he didn’t make the final itself in Barcelona (he finished 11th overall) he certainly made his Commonwealth rivals sit up and take notice.
Jak Scott (Edinburgh/Stirling) also added to his experience helping the GBR team progress to the final of the 4x200m Freestyle. Both he and Robbie Renwick have enjoyed medal success in this event at previous Commonwealth Games and will looking for more of the same next year, cheered on by the home crowd.
With just under a year to go until Glasgow 2014 Scotland’s swimmers will be now be out to retain their title of Team Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games sport of all time.
Photo credit: Getty Images