The University of Stirling’s reputation as one of the UK’s leading high-performance swimming centres was reinforced this past week with ten athletes securing medals at a number of international and national competitions.
Leading the way at the FINA World Championships, in Budapest, was double Olympic-medallist, Duncan Scott, who was part of the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team that retained its world title in style, beating off the challenge of Russia and Olympic champions, the USA. Scott then claimed his second medal on the last day of competition with a silver in the men’s 4x100m medley relay alongside Stirling teammate Ross Murdoch, who competed in the heats.
Individually, Scott fell agonisingly short, by four hundredths of a second, off a bronze medal in the 200m freestyle before finishing fifth in the 100m event. Murdoch was also pipped to fourth place in the 200m breaststroke after placing eighth in a very quick 100m final won by GB teammate Adam Peaty. Meanwhile, fellow Stirling student Kathleen Dawson finished a respectable eighth in the 100m backstroke and seventh in the women’s 4x100m medley relay at her first-ever World Championships.
Commenting at the end of an intense week of competition, Scott said: “I’m delighted with how my week has gone. My individual races have been good and the relays have been incredible. That relay (4x100m medley) was incredible and to finish on a high like that, there is no better way to end the week than on the podium with these boys.”
Meanwhile, in Samsun, Turkey, third-year Sport and Exercise Science student, Danielle Joyce, stole the show at the Deaflympics with Team GB, as she won two gold medals in the 50m and 100m freestyle events along with two bronzes in the 50m backstroke and the 4x100m mixed freestyle relay.
Speaking about her experience, Joyce said: “It’s been an amazing journey and I’m still buzzing about the whole thing. To have worked so hard to get there, I’m so happy to see the hours of training pay-off and still can’t quite believe I’ve come away with as many medals.
“I’ve met some brilliant people along the way and I can’t thank my teammates, coaches and family enough for helping me achieve what I did and making it such a memorable experience.”
Closer to home, seven of the University’s high-performance swimmers brought back medals from the British Summer Championships at Ponds Forge, Sheffield. Olympian, Craig Benson, won gold in both the 50m and 100m breaststroke, along with a silver in the 200m event. Teammate Jamie Graham came second in the 50m. In a successful meet for the University of Stirling, there were also silver medals for Charlie Boldison (100m backstroke), Danielle Huskisson (800m freestyle) and Lauren Mills (50m butterfly) as well as bronze for Callum Lawrie (400m individual medley) and Calum Bain (50m butterfly).
Cathy Gallagher, the University of Stirling’s Director of Sport, was thrilled to see further success from our swimmers. She said: “Whether it’s domestic events or competing on the world stage, our high-performance swimming programme continues to deliver fantastic results across the board. The coaches and athletes are a credit to the University and their success is testament to the unrivalled talent, hard work and standards in the programme.
“This has been a great way for the students to end their academic year, although the excitement isn’t quite over as we have a number of swimmers heading to Chinese Taipei later this month for the World University Summer Games, where they will compete against the crème-de-la-crème of higher education sport, on a global scale.”