Scottish Swimmers on Record Form

April 20, 2021

Standout performances for Duncan Scott, Ross Murdoch, Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild at the British Swimming Selection Trials followed hot on the heels of a World Record swim from Stephen Clegg at the British Para-Swimming International Meet in a record-breaking two weeks for Scotland’s swimmers.

Outstanding swims across the two events have seen many put themselves firmly in the frame for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.

Three British Records and a World-leading swim for Duncan Scott were the headlines of an impressive five days at the British Swimming Selection Trials at the London Aquatic Centre. Already pre-selected for the Tokyo Olympics, where he will be looking to add to his two silver medals from Rio 2016, Duncan was not resting on his laurels and right from his first event proved that he is in the sort of form to do just that.

He stormed to victory in the 200m Individual Medley on the opening day of competition, producing a new British Record time of 1:55.90 and two days later he was back to equal his own British Record of 47.87 in a highly competitive 100m Freestyle final.

He saved the best for last in a hotly contested 200m Freestyle on the final day. The times posted by all eight finalists in the heats, plus the added interest of places in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay at stake, ramped up the anticipation ahead of the final and it did not disappoint. Tom Dean of Bath took an early lead but by the 100m mark Duncan was in control of the race, the split times only marginally off World record pace. Dean made a late charge for the touch, but Duncan powered home to victory in a new British Record of 1:44.47, ranking him number one in the World this year for the event.

Two more Scots with Tokyo on their minds are Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild who dominated the Backstroke with a 1-2 finish in both 100m and 200m events. The fastest two going into the 100m Backstroke final, it was Kathleen who led the charge, powering home to a Scottish Record time of 58.24, only 0.1 off the European Record. Cassie touched home in a new PB of 59.51 to join her University of Stirling teammate within the 1:00.23 needed for Tokyo.

The 200m Backstroke final saw another Scottish Record and another Tokyo consideration time for Kathleen, leading the field from the start and powering to victory in a time of 2:08.14, breaking her own Scottish Record, set just last month, by 1.3 seconds. Cassie touched home for second place, right on her PB, with 2:10.94.

Three-time Commonwealth Games medallist Ross Murdoch put pounding the pavements and open water swimming to stay fit through the first lockdown and thoughts of retirement behind him with a superb swim in the 200m Breaststroke final. Five years ago, he just missed out on a place in this event for the Rio Games and this time he made amends, touching in 2nd place and within that all important 2:09.05 time for Tokyo. He was also in good form in the 100m Breaststroke finishing 3rd in a time of 59.51.

Edinburgh University’s Lucy Hope took 3rd in the 100m Freestyle in 54.19, breaking a Scottish Record which has been held by Caitlin McClatchey since 2008, while 19-year-old Keanna MacInnes also set a new Scottish record mark as she finished 4th in the 100m Butterfly in a time of 58.78. Keanna went on to produce an outstanding performance in the 200m Butterfly powering down the last 50m to take second place in a new personal best time of 2:08.86, just 0.6 off the Tokyo consideration time.

There was also a welcome return to racing for Hannah Miley following shoulder surgery posting a time of 4:45.00 in her main event, the 400m Individual Medley to finish 3rd.

Stephen Clegg was the Scottish star of the pool at the British Para-Swimming International Meet at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre in Sheffield, breaking the British Record in the 100m Freestyle on the opening day and bringing the meeting to a spectacular close with a World Record in the 100m Butterfly on the final day.

Having just missed the British Record in the 100m Butterfly heats, the S12 Edinburgh University athlete, who won silver in the event at the World Para Swimming World Championships in London in 2019, powered to a time of 56.75 in the final, breaking a World Record that had stood since 2013. His times in both the 100m Butterfly and 100m Freestyle were inside the qualification standard for Tokyo for his classification.

17-year-old Toni Shaw was also in top form and showing the progress she’s made since making her Commonwealth Games debut as Team Scotland’s youngest athlete at the Gold Coast Games in 2018. The 100m Freestyle final saw the S9 swimmer, competing for University of Aberdeen Performance Swim, finish in the silver medal position in 1:03.71, a time within the qualification standard for Tokyo in her classification.

She went on to post a second Tokyo consideration time, this time in the 400m Freestyle, the event in which she won silver at the World Para Swimming World Championships in London in 2019. Her time of 4:45.50 was well within the S9 standard for Tokyo.

Having made his international debut at the 2019 World Championships, City of Glasgow’s Louis Lawlor was an agonisingly close 0.25 away from the Tokyo consideration time in his 100m Backstroke heat, but raised his game in the final. He controlled his race well and touched home in a time of 1:01.47, 0.2s inside the S14 standard needed for Tokyo.

Rio 2016 Paralympic Games silver medallist Scott Quin dominated the 100m Breaststroke event with solid performances in both the heat and the final. Quin (SB14) took victory in a time of 1:05.97, well inside the consideration time for Tokyo.

University of Stirling’s Oliver Carter broke Paul Noble’s long standing S10 Scottish Record in his 100m Butterfly heat, powering home in a time of 1:05.43 to erase the mark that had stood since 1996. He followed up with a second national record, breaking his own mark in the 400m Freestyle, coming home in 4:19.21.

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