University of Stirling swimmers lived up to standards of sporting excellence at the British Swimming Championships, with four team members chosen to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.
Commonwealth champion Ross Murdoch will represent Britain in 100m breaststroke after finishing a close second in the discipline to Adam Peaty, while team-mate Craig Benson, 21, will compete in the 200m breaststroke after clinching a surprise silver in last week’s race.
They will be joined by 18-year-old Duncan Scott who won the 100m freestyle British title at Tollcross with a time of 48.66 seconds, breaking the Scottish record set by himself in the morning heats. Full-time athlete Robbie Renwick completes the Stirling line-up having been selected to race in the 200m freestyle event. The 27-year-old picked up a bronze medal in last week’s championships.
The University’s sporting stars are among 26 swimmers selected to travel to Brazil in August to represent Britain in the Olympic pool.
Duncan Scott said: “It's an absolute honour to represent Team GB and go to the Olympics for the first time. I've been building up to this for a long time but I didn't think it was possible until the start of this season.
"This is my first year at the University and to be here full-time working with Steve Tigg has allowed me to analyse my technique more closely. The quality in our group is unbelievable and being a part of that is a great experience."
The future Olympians were joined by six other Stirling swimmers at the British Swimming Championships who put in outstanding performances, including Cameron Brodie who achieved fourth in the 200m butterfly and Craig McLean who narrowly missed the podium in 100m backstroke.
The University also said a sad farewell to two-time world champion finalist Jak Scott who announced his retirement at the end of the competition.
Led by performance coaches Ben Higson and Steve Tigg, the successful teammates now look to the challenge of Rio. Their rigorous weekly schedule comprising up to 30 hours of training, split between the gym and the pool at the National Swimming Academy on campus, will continue between now and August.
Performance coach Steve Tigg, said: “I’m overjoyed at today’s announcement. We’re in the business of producing world class athletes so seeing four scholars selected to compete at the highest possible level, as ambassadors for the University and their country, is the ultimate reward.
“The team have put in a tremendous amount of work over the last year - this includes lots of support and man hours put in by Scottish Swimming and sportscotland Institute of Sport to ensure the athletes and coaches are always attended to. It’s this dedication and professionalism across the board that has helped achieve Olympic team selection.
"The entire University community will be behind the boys when they step up to the plate in Brazil and we can’t wait to see them go up against the best in the world.”
Stirling – Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence - was the first Scottish university to offer swimming scholarships and many swimmers now also receive support from national sports scholarships Winning Students, enabling them to combine their training with study for an academic degree.
The Scottish Government designated the University of Stirling as Scotland’s University for Sporting Excellence in 2008. Our mission is to deliver the best for Scottish sport through the powerful and inspirational combination of sport and education. We are at the heart of Scottish sport, preparing athletes to perform on the world stage, enabling students to develop their skill sets for excellent careers and producing innovative research to improve the health of the nation. Our sport-centred campus brings together the people shaping Scottish sport, creating a critical mass of sporting expertise and excellence.