Four years ago in Glasgow, Team Scotland got off to a dream start with two gold medals on the opening day of the Swimming competition. Here on the Gold Coast both Hannah Miley and Ross Murdoch will be defending their titles on day one, as the six-day swimming programme begins tomorrow (Thursday 5 April) at the Optus Aquatics Centre.
Hannah Miley could make history if she secures gold in the 400m Individual Medley. The 28-year old has held this title since Delhi 2010 and would become the first Scottish athlete ever to have won gold in the same event at three consecutive Games.
The main challenge will come from Canadian Mary-Sophie Harvey as well as Aimee Wilmott and Abbie Wood of England. Miley holds the current Games record for the event of 4:31.76, which she set at Glasgow 2014 and goes in the second of the two heats.
Ross Murdoch made the headlines at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by winning gold in the 200m Breaststroke, touching out fellow Scot Michael Jamieson. Finishing just outside the medals in fourth at last year’s FINA World Championships, Murdoch is beginning to show the form that took him to the top of the podium four years ago.
Other Scottish medal hopes for the 200m breaststroke come from double Olympian, Craig Benson and Calum Tait, who was just pushed out of the medals in Glasgow by England’s Andrew Willis.
Stephen Milne kicks off his Games campaign in the 400m Freestyle. Milne finished eighth in the event in Glasgow and will be up against two strong Australian swimmers; silver medallist from 2014, David McKeon and Mack Horton, who won silver at last year’s Worlds. James Guy also starts his competition in this event and will be looking to kick-start England’s medal count.
Glasgow 2014 bronze medallist in the 50m Breaststroke, Corrie Scott, makes her third consecutive Games appearance for Team Scotland in this event, while her training partner Lucy Hope is in action in the 200m Freestyle.
Scott McLay, Team Scotland’s most decorated athlete at a Commonwealth Youth Games with five medals at Bahamas 2017, moves into the senior ranks for the first time and starts his campaign off in the 50m Butterfly, alongside Sean Campsie.
Craig McNally also returns for Team Scotland and starts his competition with the 100m Backstroke, while 16-year old Keanna MacInnes makes her senior debut in the 100m Butterfly.
Speaking ahead of the opening day of competition, National Coach and Team Leader for Aquatics, Alan Lynn, said,
“We are under no illusions as to the scale of the challenge ahead of us in Gold Coast. Taking on the might of Australia, Canada, England and South Africa with their World and Olympic champions is a massive test for our small team. We are confident that if our swimmers perform at their best we can return home proud of their efforts and pleased at the outcomes.”
The Swimming competition starts tomorrow, Thursday 5 April and continues until Tuesday 10 April, before the Diving programme begins on Wednesday 11 April. The Aquatics programme is being held at the Optus Aquatics Centre.