As the final event of the year, the Scottish National Short Course Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, Edinburgh, over the next three days will be a chance for Olympic hopefuls to prove they are firmly on the road to Rio 2016.
The Olympic trials take place at the Tollcross International Centre in Glasgow in April, and Michael Jamieson, Ross Murdoch, Craig McNally, Stephen Milne, Robbie Renwick and Duncan Scott are among those hoping for the perfect start to the festive celebrations this weekend.
Jamieson, the 2012 Olympic silver medallist in the 200m breaststroke, will be in action for the first time since his move back to Edinburgh in September. He trained with City of Edinburgh in his early years before having stints in France and Bath.
The Glasgow-born 27-year-old suffered a setback when he lost to Murdoch at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow last year, but he is hoping the return north will reignite his career and lead to a medal defence in Brazil.
Jamieson and Murdoch contest the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events. Warrender’s Craig Benson was also in the line-up, but, along with Hannah Miley, he has pulled out as he is in action for the European Allstars at the Duel in the Pool in Indianapolis.
Warrender’s Keri-anne Payne will race in tonight’s opening session in the 800m freestyle. The English swimmer, who is married to Scot David Carry and lives in Edinburgh, aims to continue her recent outstanding form.
Payne won the Open Water test event in Rio in August before winning the 10km Marathon Swimming World Cup 2015 in Hong Kong.
Eighteen-year-old Scott has had a super 18 months. He was a relay silver medallist at the Commonwealth Games and this summer collected half a dozen medals at the inaugural European Games in Baku before making his debut for Team GB at this summer’s World Championships.
Having left Strathallan School earlier this year, the teenager is now training with Murdoch and Renwick at the University of Stirling.
Perth’s Milne, the 1500m specialist, was also in the silver medal relay squad at Glasgow 2014 and he has similarly kicked on and earned his place at the World Championships.
He recently spent time at a GB camp in Rio – and hopes to be back next summer.
Belgium’s national team also return to the event with 16 athletes competing, including Olympian Kimberley Buys, who, having competed at the Fina World Championships in Kazan, is now on the comeback trail after fracturing her wrist in a cycling accident.
The championships will be made up of morning and afternoon sessions over the next three days, with the finals taking place in the evenings.