Scotland’s swimmers made a successful start to the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games with a full set of medals at the National Sports Centre in the Isle of Man.
Craig Benson won the gold in the 100m breaststroke, with a superb personal best time of 59:63. It’s the first time Craig has gone under the one minute mark, and it was more than enough to see off Tommy Sucipto (Australia) in second place. Minister for Commonwealth Games and Sport, Shona Robison was on hand to present Scotland’s first gold medal of the Games.
Craig said: “I wanted to go under a minute today but I wasn’t sure if I could, and to win the gold is incredible. I saw that I was ahead at 50m and after that I just went for it. It’s amazing to win the first gold for Scotland, and I’m just really looking forward to my other events over the weekend.”
Earlier in the evening session Emily Jones picked up Scotland’s first medal of the 2011 Games with a bronze in the 100m breaststroke with a personal best of 1:09:04.
Emily said: “I came into the competition with no expectations so I was just trying to get in and compete as best as I could. I set a new PB this morning in the heats and to beat it again in the final is a great feeling. To win the first medal of the Games is brilliant and I hope it will set the rest of the team up for a successful weekend!”
Topping off a fantastic evening and completing the medal set was the men’s 4x100m relay team of Josh Booth, Craig Benson, Mark Szaranek and Ali Stirling. The boys finished behind Australia with a time of 3:41:50 to take the Silver.
Swimming Team Head Coach, Gary Patterson added: “It was great to get the first medal early on with Emily. Then we had a superb swim from Craig, going under a minute to take gold in the 100m breaststroke. We really attacked from the front tonight and I’m delighted for the team. There are opportunities there over the weekend and we’ve given ourselves a great starting block tonight.”
All of Scotland’s swimmers will be back in the pool tomorrow as day two of competition at the 2011 Youth Games gets underway.