Glaswegian Michael Jamieson won a medal at the Commonwealth Games, but a silver behind team mate Ross Murdoch in the 200m breaststroke was undoubtedly the biggest disappointment of his career. As the poster boy of Glasgow 2014, anything other than gold was a disaster.
Four months on, and the 2012 Olympic silver medallist was back competing at home in the Scottish Gas National Short Course Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh, and a bronze medal in his less preferred 100m breaststroke was a good toe-dip back into serious competition.
England’s Andrew Willis won in 58.68 secs, Scot Craig Benson was second in 58.72 secs and Jamieson clocked 59.41 secs and was satisfied with the time after a long, recuperative break. “I played it very low key after the Games,” said the 26-year-old. “I took two and a half months out of the water and went on holiday with some mates to the States. We went from Las Vegas to New York and then Miami.
“I’m now back training and working with a new German coach who is based in Austria, Dirk Lange. I’m working on my skills and technique.
“It’s a new coach, a new programme and new ideas. It is just the spark and motivation I needed and I’m finally enjoying swimming again. I’ve only swum in one race, in Zagreb, before today but I’m beginning to get my fitness back. When I was on holiday, I struggled to maintain my weight. I became so thin that my trunks were almost falling off.
“As for the Games, they have been put to bed now. I love big meets and usually perform well. But there’s a fine line, and I think I just put too much pressure on myself.” Benson, who qualified for the London Olympics as a 17-year-old, is also on his way back from a couple of relatively disappointing seasons. He has moved from Warrender to Stirling University. “It was a difficult decision but it was time for a new challenge,” explained the 20-year-old.
“Today was my best time in two years. It’s nice to feel I’m coming back. The goal next year is the World Championships in Russia but, ultimately, it is all about the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016.”
Warrender’s Dan Wallace, the Commonwealth Games 400m individual medley champion, finished second in the 200m medley and set a Scottish record.
England’s Roberto Pavoni won in 1:55.86 and 21-year-old Wallace, on a Christmas break from the University of Florida, clocked 1:56.32.
Cameron Brodie (University of Stirling) won the 200m butterfly in a Scottish record of 1:54.65 and Corrie Scott (Edinburgh University) also set a new Scottish record of 30.71 secs in taking the silver in the 50m breaststroke.
Robbie Renwick (University of Stirling) set a Scottish record of 47.96 secs in the 100m freestyle.