The burgeoning programme at the University of Edinburgh finished the Scottish Nationals this weekend in Glasgow as the top point scoring club but it was Siobhan O’Connor and Molly Renshaw who stood out from the crowd.
O’Connor, training at the British Swimming performance centre in Bath amongst a host of GB talent, broke the British Record in the 100m Breaststroke in a time of 1.06.34 just 30 minutes after blasting an impressive 2.09.36 200m Individual Medley warning shot to her rivals around the world. This improves on her previous breaststroke lifetime best of 1.07.15 (which she rattled in the heats with 1.07.35). O’Connor looks to be in great form leading into Rio and her improvement on the breaststroke suggests an area she could close on the ‘Iron Lady’ Katinka Hosszu come Brazil.
Siobhan has shown promise in recent years after bursting onto the scene at the World Championships in Shanghai, 2011, aged just 14. It has been a very gradual development since then but she now looks to be comfortable performing under the big lights at the major Championships. The only remaining weakness in her medley arsenal is the backstroke leg. Knowing this, we have seen Siobhan race under World Record pace numerous times after the butterfly leg on the medley event in recent years to gain an early advantage, but she must use her experience now to balance her efforts, work to her strengths, and bring it home on the freestyle leg.
Molly Renshaw raced to a 2.23.96 time trial-esque victory in the 200m Breaststroke, her nearest competition was Georgia Coates on 2.30.81, after European medalist Chloe Tutton pulled out of the final. It was a good day for Renshaw, who firstly posted a strong 2.26.86 in the heats to emulate what might be required in the Olympic heats, and then produced a swim good enough to win the US Olympic Team Trials in Omaha last week. A huge confidence boost for the Loughborough based swimmer leading into her maiden Olympic Games.
Other highlight swims from Glasgow; an imposing 1.00.49 and 2.11.32 breaststroke double for Ross Murdoch and a 54.49 victory for Israeli Olympian Guy Barnea in the 100 metres backstroke.
Promising signs for the Scottish Swimming organising committee to have National teams from Israel, the Netherlands and Belgium competing in Glasgow; a world class facility but an event in need of a promotional push from the home federations in order to make it an annual continental fixture.
Scottish National Open Championships 2016 FULL RESULTS