Robbie Renwick anchored Team Scotland’s 4x200m freestyle relay squad to second place in the Delhi pool on Wednesday, to end his Commonwealth Games campaign with gold and silver medals.
In an exciting race, in which Andy Hunter led off to put the Scots in third place, the Australians were dominant in the end. But the race for silver see-sawed between the Scottish quartet, early leaders South Africa and Canada.
“Take a bow, David Carry,” announced the pool’s MC as the double gold medallist moved the Scots into the silver medal position after his second leg, before 19-year old Jak Scott took over. Scott did well to keep them in contention, before Renwick finished off the job with a superb swim, leapfrogging from fifth to second to claim a second consecutive silver, after their close defeat at the hands of England in Melbourne in 2006.
“It wasn’t so much about the split there, it was about the medal,” said Renwick. “The Aussies were so dominant that it was a race for second, which we won – we can’t ask for more than that.
“I knew I had to pull it back a bit,” added Renwick, “but it was the rest of the boys who did most of the work. It was another gutsy swim and I’m very proud of it. I’m quite relieved I’m finished now. I came out here to Delhi with two medals in my mind and I got them. It feels different to Melbourne, where we were a bit disappointed. I’m just so happy for the other boys – I’ve never seen them so proud, and I feel very proud myself.”
For Scott, described by Renwick as “the rookie on the team,” a Commonwealth Games silver medal was an outstanding accomplishment for a swimmer in his first international competition. “It’s my first Commonwealth Games, my first major meet, and it means so much to me,” said Scott.
“I’m the baby in the team,” continued Scott. “Robbie was in a similar position to me four years ago, and he’s been a great help to me, getting me through this. He’s been there, done this. I know he benefitted from being on the team with David Carry four years ago, and I’m hoping to benefit from him. Both David and Robbie are such an inspiration to me. Maybe I can come back in four years and win a gold medal.”
There were also good performances in the pool from other Scots, with the women’s 4x200m squad of Caitlin McClatchey, Hannah Miley, Megan Gilchrist and Lucy Ellis, finishing fifth behind the all-conquering Australians, and breaking one of the oldest national records in the books.
And Michael Jamieson, in the men’s 200m breaststroke, was a strong fourth in his event, closing all the time on the bronze medallist Scott Rickard, and touching the wall just 14 hundredths of a second behind him. “I’m not disappointed,” said Mathieson. “I’ve got quicker each round, even though I took a huge chunk off my time last night. The 100’s my bonus event; I’m definitely a 200 swimmer, because I can’t quite match those bigger guys over the first 50.
“The second fifty metres is my stronger half, and I knew I’d be coming back at these guys. I just ran out of water – I could’ve done with an extra five or ten metres of water.”
“But this is a huge confidence boost for me. If you’d said at the start of the week I’d finish 4th in the 100, I’d have bitten your hand off. My aim is to get a medal in the 200 on Saturday, and to go into that with experience of a major final can only help.”
Andy Mayor was also pleased, not least because he hadn’t expected to be in action at all on day three. As ninth fastest in the semi-finals of the 50m butterfly, he was resigned to a rest day until a withdrawal opened a door back into the competition.
“It was a great bonus doing the final,” said Mayor. “I only heard about three hours ago, just after I’d had my lunch, that I was in. I was sending an email off to my coach at the time, letting him know how things were going, but I was over the moon when I heard.
“It sets me up really well for the 100m [butterfly] tomorrow. I’m not as big as some of these other guys, so the 50’s always a bit of a struggle for me.
“I came 8th,” he continued, “but I was up there, and I was a tenth quicker than I was last night. I really need to use the 50 as a marker for the 100, so I’m pleased – I’m just buzzing after it.
“I was facing a day off, but I’m delighted to be here. The stands were packed with people today, which makes it such a great feeling when you walk out. It was a great experience – I loved it.”