Olympics 2024: Five Scottish swimmers selected as Team GB call up record crop from University of Stirling

Kathleen Dawson (1st left) with GB team-mates Katie Shanahan, Duncan Scott Angharad Evans, Lucy Hope and Keanna MacInnes (Pic Steve Welsh/Getty Images)Kathleen Dawson (1st left) with GB team-mates Katie Shanahan, Duncan Scott Angharad Evans, Lucy Hope and Keanna MacInnes (Pic Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
Kathleen Dawson (1st left) with GB team-mates Katie Shanahan, Duncan Scott Angharad Evans, Lucy Hope and Keanna MacInnes (Pic Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
Two Olympic debutants join Tokyo medal winners in Paris

​The pride of Scotland is alive and kicking in the swimming pool with five Scottish swimmers named as part of Team GB's squad in Paris 2024. Duncan Scott, Kathleen Dawson, Katie Shanahan, Lucy Hope and Keanna MacInnes will all dive in at the La Defense Arena this summer.

The five Scottish athletes all train under coaches Brad Hay and Steven Tigg at the University of Stirling with Angharad Evans and Jack McMillan’s inclusion making a record crop of seven athletes selected from the Scottish swimming base.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Scott became Team GB's most successful Olympian at a single Games in Tokyo, winning four medals, including gold in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay and will return to the pool in Paris for his third Games. The 26-year-old returned to form emphatically at the Aquatics GB Swimming Championships, finishing second in the 200m freestyle to bank an individual berth after missing out in 2023.

"I usually don't celebrate at all, but it was a bit of a let out of emotion after how poorly I swam last year and missing out on the Worlds," he said. "It's about getting that opportunity to represent our country and get close to what I did last time so I think it all came out at the end of my race on Sunday night.

"Last year I was in and out of the pool a lot with illness and it was a real culmination of inconsistencies that caught up with me. It was a difficult drive back up from Sheffield after trials last year, so I am really grateful with how I've got back to this level and given this opportunity again."

Olympic mixed relay gold medallist Dawson also struggled between Tokyo and Paris, battling a career-threatening back injury following Tokyo. Unable to even put her socks on without pain, she is now back on the biggest stage of them all.

"I’m unbelievably proud of myself to be back here," she said. "It would have been easy after Tokyo to say, ‘I’ve been to an Olympics, got a gold medal and a world record.’ I could have called it a day there. That thought was there but I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do, and I hadn’t finished in the sport.

"After getting back into training and through rehab there was no doubt I would be here again. I would love to be back in that 4x100m mixed medley relay because I know it’s another medal opportunity and chance to go to that record again."

Heralded as a relay master, Lucy Hope was part of the British women's 4x100m freestyle team who finished fifth with a new British record in Tokyo. Now back for her second Games, there's one date stuck in Hope's head in the lead up to Paris: August 1st, the date of the final of the women's 4x200m freestyle relay.

She said: “It's such a competitive environment in Britain at the moment because you’re wanting to be the best and on the 1st of August we know that we want to be the best.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"Then when you look at the women's 4x100m freestyle team, since about 2021, it has just been the same four and we haven’t had anyone we could have even added in. It’s really exciting to see more options for us.

"The boys have always had that, but the girls have been struggling with it in the past and it’s really promising for the future."

All athletes in Paris will benefit from Aldi’s Nearest & Dearest programme. It will help maximise support and minimise potential distractions for athletes so that they can focus on their performance and make the most of the unique opportunity to compete on one of the world’s largest stages.

The rapid revival in female swimming in Britain is stemming from Stirling, with five of the named seven being women. Two of those newfound stars are Shanahan and MacInnes, the sole Scottish debutants in the pool in Paris.

MacInnes comes into the fray as something of an unknown. The Livingston swimmer stormed into the spotlight following a terrific performance at the Aquatics GB Championships, beating 200m butterfly world champion Laura Stephens to take her second national title.

She has heralded the strength of Scottish swimming as the key catalyst for uptick in the women's results in the pool.

"I was pleased with how trials went but there’s some things I think I can improve going into summer," she said. "To beat Laura was very exciting as she was world champion, but I was quietly confident.

"In the past, the women have been weaker than the men on Team GB but having seven Stirling swimmers, and five of them girls, in Paris is really exciting. That group in Stirling is a whole new set that in the past few years and we’re a lot younger and a lot more motivated so we’ve brought those standards up and made it more enjoyable."

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Glasgow-born Shanahan has been a rising star on the senior scene after a strong first couple of years on the circuit. The 19-year-old won 200m backstroke silver at the 2022 European Championships before making a maiden World Championship appearance in 2023.

"I was getting up in the middle of the night and watching how the guys were swimming during Tokyo and knew I wanted to be there for Paris,” said the teenager. "My mum was crying when I told her I’d got the email to go.

"The experience that Duncan, Kathleen and Lucy already have and then first-timers like us, I’m really excited to go with the Stirling lot. I think we’ll all do really well in Paris."

Aldi are proud Official Partners of Team GB & ParalympicsGB, supporting all athletes through to Paris 2024



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.