Benson gets a lifeline as Scott and Smith medal

Craig Benson.  Picture: SNS
Craig Benson. Picture: SNS
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Lewis Smith & Corrie Scott medals for Glasgow 2014

Smith was fastest in the heats of the 400m individual medley and had already won the Scottish title last Sunday to claim his place in Team Scotland for this summer’s Commonwealth Games back at the same venue.

Just a few days later and he was pleased to post a faster 4:15.76 time, but the downside was that he had to make do with the silver medal behind Roberto Pavoni’s 4:12.24.

It was a personal best for the 23-year-old Englishman, who had his parents and his brother in the crowd for support. “The last time I did a PB was at the 2012 Olympic trials and that seems a long time ago,” said the Loughborough swimmer. “It’s great to do it in this pool and I’m really looking forward to coming back this summer.”

For Lewis, it was another move in the right direction. “It felt better than last week but I still want to go faster,” said the Warrender 26-year-old. “At these championships I am also going to try and get a 200m medley qualifying time.” That event is on the final day on Tuesday. Warrender’s Benson had been desperately unlucky to miss out on a Games qualifying time at the Scottish Championships. He made the time but was out of the top three in the 200m breaststroke – he missed the time by 0.01 in taking bronze in the 100m.

In last night’s 100m semi-finals, the 19-year-old clocked a quicker 1:01.42 and now needs a repeat in tonight’s final to claim his 2014 berth. Benson was just 17 when he qualified for the London Olympics and it would be heartbreaking for the youngster if he didn’t make it to his home Commonwealths.

Ross Murdoch, the Scottish record holder, won his semi-final in 1:00.16 ahead of Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson (1:00.85). Adam Peaty won the other semi in a swift 59.83secs.

England’s James Guy, who had set a British record in the 400m on Thursday, added another gold in the 200m freestyle, although his time of 1:47.54 was almost a second slower than Robbie Renwick’s Scottish Championship victory.

“It’s nice to be a double British Champion but I am a little disappointed that I didn’t go faster,” said the 18-year-old European Junior Champion. “But I am happy with my form for this time of year. There is plenty more speed to come.”

Edinburgh University’s Scott, the Scottish Champion, took the bronze medal in the 50m breaststroke. Her fellow Commonwealth Games qualifiers Andrea Strachan (31.85secs) and Kathryn Johnstone (32.06secs) followed her home in fourth and fifth.

The winner was England’s Sophie Taylor. She set a new personal best in 30.98secs.

Scotland’s Duncan Scott won the British Junior 200m freestyle and set a personal best of 1:49.88. It was his first swim under the magical 1:50.00 barrier and he finished over a second ahead of Hatfield’s Martyn Walton.