WITH Glasgow 2014 places up for grabs, Ross Murdoch was the star of the show with a new British 50m breaststroke at last night’s Scottish Gas National Championships at Tollcross International Centre in Glasgow.
With three places available in each discipline for the Commonwealth Games, Murdoch claimed the GB record in 27.28sec in the morning heats and then equalled it in the final.
Fellow medallists Mark Tully (27.73) and Joseph Welstead (27.83) were also within the Games’ nomination mark.
Murdoch made a big breakthrough last year when he went with Team GB to the World Championships in Barcelona and his target is to qualify in all three breaststroke events at the Glasgow Games.
“You have to be in the world top ten to make it into the breaststroke team in Scotland,” said the 20-year-old Stirling swimmer, who will be up against London’s Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson in tonight’s 200m.
“It’s a relief to get the time and win the 50m. The British record was on my mind but I was surprised to do it in the heats. But it was a huge bonus and meant I could enjoy the final.”
Hannah Miley, the Commonwealth Games champion, was in a class of her own in the 400m individual medley and her time of 4:35.48 ensured that she will be back to defend her title in Glasgow. “It was a great swim but I know there is a lot more in the tank,” said the 24-year-old, who is coached by her father, Patrick, at the Garioch Club in Inveruie. “I’ll now put in a lot of hard work and put in the training time so that I go even faster in the summer.”
In the 20m butterfly, the top two of Cameron Brodie (1:58.18) and Lewis Smith (1:58.37) both gained the Games qualification time and Kathleen Dawson (29.21) also earmarked her place in Team Scotland with victory in the 50m backstroke.
The final event of the evening was the 1500m freestyle and top two Stephen Milne (15:18.90) and Craig Hamilton (15:20.16) both qualified for the Games.
Despite the handicap of an upper back injury, Caitlin McClatchey won the 200m freestyle and wasn’t too disappointed just to miss out on the Games nomination time in 1:59.38.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games 200m and 400m freestyle champion admits that, at 28, life is tougher for a swimmer, but she has promised to be at her best for what she hopes will be a third successive Games.
“Everything considered, I’m pleased,” said the 28-year-old who swims for Edinburgh University, where she is studying for a Masters degree in Performance Psychology.
Robbie Renwick, who hopes to stage a successful defence of the 200m freestyle at Glasgow 2014, won the 100m event but was clearly unimpressed with a 50.13secs time that left him well adrift of the qualification mark.
“It was not good enough,” admitted the two-time Olympian. “I’ve got to find some form and I’m hoping for the best in the 200m.”
The 25-year-old swims at Tollcross with City of Glasgow and he will be favourite to add the 400m title tonight and then his favourite 200m is on Sunday.
Warrender’s Fiona Donnelly, who is based in the US, ducked under the minute to win the 100m butterfly in 59.96 but was just fractions outside the Games’ time. “I’m very happy with the swim and it is one my fastest times,” said the teenager.