Robbie Renwick has already competed in two Olympic Games. His bid for three in a row is clearly on course after a record-breaking freestyle double at the Scottish National Short Course Championships at the Royal Commonwealth Pool in Edinburgh.
The 27-year-old broke the 100m record on Saturday and he followed up with another Scottish all-time best of 1:43.58 in the 200m yesterday. Second placed Stephen Milne, winner of the 400m and 1500m freestyle, was also inside the previous mark in 1:43.63. A relay gold medallist for Team GB in the 4x200m freestyle at this summer’s World Championships in Kazan, Renwick is excited about 2016.
“The Olympic trials are not far away (Tollcross in Glasgow in April) and the fact that we could go to Rio as medal contenders is really exciting,” said one of the clutch of Olympic contenders from the University of Stirling.
“I was gutted to miss the recent European Short Course Championships in Israel because of illness, but it’s nice to be healthy again and this record means a lot to me. What really pleased me about tonight’s swim is that I have improved from last year and that’s a great way to be heading into next year. I’m still enjoying my swimming – the only drawback is that the older you get the longer it hurts.”
Lewis Smith was another 27-year-old who seemingly keeps getting better with age. He staged a storming finale to edge out both teenager Duncan Scott and butterfly champion Cameron Brodie in a University of Stirling one, two, three in the tough, 400m individual medley.
“The other guys went out fast but I knew that if I could get within touching distance in the breaststroke leg then I could take it,” he said. “The goal for 2016 is the Olympics. I’ve been close before and it’s nice to be working with the younger guys. They keep pushing me. I still love swimming and I’m going to move into coaching when I’m finished. I want to start winding down, but I’m still passionate about the sport and I’m not ready to move away from it.”
Camilla Hattersley shocked herself with a new Scottish record of 1:56.52 in the 200m freestyle – the 20-year-old had already won the 800m and 400m.
“I’m absolutely buzzing,” said the City of Glasgow swimmer who has recently started working with a new coach, Ian Wright. “These Championship have gone far better than I expected. Today was three seconds quicker than I had gone before and I never imagined I could go so fast. But I’m really enjoying training and working with a new coach. The Olympic trials are not far away, and it’s lovely to dream. My best chance will be making the team in the 4x200m relay but I’ll be going for all the freestyle events.”
Ross Murdoch, who had set records in the 50m and 100m, won the 200m breaststroke in 2:04.84 and Kathryn Johnstone achieved a similar hat-trick in the women’s breaststroke, completing the clean sweep with a time of 2:25.17 in the 200m.