DAN Wallace and Hannah Miley, two of Scotland’s gold medallists from Glasgow 2014, will be among the leading lights at the Scottish Gas National Short Course Championships taking place over the next three days at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
Florida-based Wallace, the Commonwealth Games 400m individual medley champion and a silver medallist in the 200m and 5x200m relay, has entered five events and he wants to entertain his home Edinburgh crowd.
“It’s always great to be back in Scotland,” said the Warrender 21-year-old. “The Commonwealth Games was great and although I’ve not rested for these championships I’m aiming to put in some good times. Next year the main goal is the World Championships in Russia and then there’s the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016. I’m looking forward to maybe getting into more finals and winning more medals. The Commonwealth Games was a good stepping stone.”
Wallace starts the programme today in the 200m individual medley and 100m freestyle, and then he has the 400m freestyle and 100m medley tomorrow. He will then swim in the 400m medley heats on Sunday morning.
“But I won’t be there for the final,” he revealed. “I’ve been invited to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Glasgow so won’t be swimming on Sunday evening. But I’ll certainly be looking to post a good time in the heats.”
Unfortunately, Ross Murdoch, the Commonwealth Games 200m breaststroke champion, is out of the event through illness, but Miley, who won a medal at the World Short Course Championships in Doha last week, will be on target for her favourite 400m individual medley plus a number of other events.
The other Scottish medallists from Glasgow 2014 in the line-up are Michael Jamieson, Corrie Scott, Robbie Renwick, Stephen Milne and Erraid Davies, who at 13 years of age became Scotland’s youngest ever Games medallist.
But it is not just Scots aiming to impress. The meet has also attracted the likes of England’s Chris Walker-Hebborn, who has enjoyed a fantastic year, becoming the European and Commonwealth Champion in the 100m backstroke.
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor secured six medals on her Team England debut at Glasgow 2014, including gold in the 200m individual medley. She has since carried that success into the short course season with medals at the Fina World Cup Series in Tokyo and Singapore. With Aimee Wilmott also confirmed, Miley against the rest in the women’s medley events will be among the highlights.
Making it a truly international championship, there are a number of swimmers from the Belgium National Team, most notably Kimberley Buys, who won six titles at her own National Short Course Championships last month.