Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch both won silver on the opening night of the Swimming competition at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
In front of a near capacity crowd at the Optus Aquatics Centre, Miley went head to head with long-time English rival Aimee Wilmott in the 400m Individual Medley final and the pair put on a thrilling cat and mouse encounter with the lead changing hands several times over the course of the race. Miley showed her strength in the Breaststroke leg and was in the lead with 100m to go. Wilmott however held her nerve and in the last 25m kicked hard taking the touch in 4:34.90. Miley won silver in 4:35.16, while Blair Evans of Australia picked up bronze in 4:38.23.
After the race Miley said: “I can honestly say there was nothing left in the bowl and I’m so glad to say that I’ve come away with a medal. It’s my fourth Games and to be on the podium for the third time is amazing.
“It’s obviously not the gold that everyone was hoping for, but it’s still a medal and I’ve always said it wasn’t about the medals for me. I’m still smiling and really happy with my performance. This is sport. Aimee has been a long-time rival and it’s really wonderful that she’s always kept me on my toes. I hope it was a good race for everyone to watch and we kept it entertaining.
“I said I’d leave nothing in the pot, give it my all and leave everything in the pool and that’s exactly what I’ve done.”
Ross Murdoch also fought hard for silver in the 200m Breaststroke. Leading with 50m to go Murdoch was touched out at the finish by England’s James Wilby who put in a superb final 50m to take the title in 2:08.05. Murdoch came home in 2:08.32 for silver while Australian Matt Wilson won bronze in 2:08.64.
Murdoch said of his achievement; “If I’m honest I’m a bit disappointed not to have got the gold tonight and heard Flower of Scotland sung to me one more time. I did feel a strong sense of pride and honour going out there tonight.
“That was bitterly close, only three tenths in it, but I don’t want anybody to stand here and feel sorry for me. A year and a half ago I was a completely different man so I’m absolutely delighted to be stood here with a medal round my neck.”
Scottish athletes Craig Benson and Calum Tait finished 6th and 7th respectively.
In other events it was an eighth place finish for Stephen Milne in the 400m Freestyle and Lucy Hope in the 200m Freestyle, while Sean Campsie and Scott McLay finished 12th and 13th respectively for the 50m Butterfly.
Keanna MacInnes showed promise on her Team Scotland debut with back to back PBs in the 100m Butterfly. The 16-year old finished 11th overall giving her confidence ahead of her preferred distance of 200m Butterfly, which starts on Monday.
Corrie Scott finished 9th after the semi-finals of the 50m Breaststroke and is first reserve for tomorrow’s final, while Craig McNally finished 10th overall for 100m Backstroke and is also on the reserves list for tomorrow’s final.
Friday will see double Olympic silver medalist, Duncan Scott start his Commonwealth Games campaign with the 200m Freestyle. He’ll be joined by team-mates Craig McLean and Stephen Milne. The Breaststroke trio of Murdoch, Benson and Tait return to the pool in the 100m event, while Lucy Hope also returns to the action in the heats of the 50m Freestyle.
Mark Szaranek, fresh from the NCAAs, makes his Team Scotland debut in the 400m Individual Medley, while the youngest member of Team Scotland, Toni Shaw, also makes her debut in the S9 100m Backstroke.
Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild will contest the heats of the 100m Backstroke while Scotland’s men will contest 4x100m Freestyle.