Ross Murdoch poised to challenge Adam Peaty in Rio

Scots swimmer Ross Murdoch is aiming to challenge for a medal in Rio. Picture Lisa Ferguson
Scots swimmer Ross Murdoch is aiming to challenge for a medal in Rio. Picture Lisa Ferguson
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Adam Peaty is British swimming’s big hope for the Rio Olympics, but Ross Murdoch has emerged from the shadows before to take glory and may do so again.

London 2012 silver medallist Michael Jamieson was the poster boy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, but was bitterly disappointed as fellow Scot Murdoch beat him to 200metres breaststroke gold in Glasgow.

Jamieson did not qualify for the Olympics and may be contemplating retirement, while Murdoch also was not selected for his favoured event, finishing third behind Andrew 
Willis and Craig Benson at the trials.

It is still possible Murdoch, who in May added the European title to his burgeoning list of accomplishments, could race the 200m, but for now he is slated to swim the 100m breaststroke with Peaty, the world record holder, world, European and Commonwealth champion.

Peaty is the only man to swim beneath 58 seconds in history but Murdoch’s speed endurance could put him in contention, too.

“We both swim very different races,” Murdoch said. “He’s very much a front end guy and I’m very much on the back end of the race. But I believe I can go in there, put in a best time and swim my best performance in the final.”

University of Stirling’s Murdoch takes belief from his performance in Glasgow two summers ago.

“It’s certainly given me a lot of confidence knowing that I always swim my best races in the final,” the 22-year-old added.

“I just love it. I just love racing. I have so much fun. To race in front of a home crowd like that was so much fun.”

The hosts won just three medals in the pool at London 2012 but it is feasible Peaty and Murdoch could medal in the same race in Rio. Murdoch added: “It [2012] was our most successful Games ever in terms of fourth-placed finishes and finalists. That showed we were on the brink of something very special.”