Team Scotland today released the latest in the series of ‘Go Scotland!’ images featuring swimmer, Michael Jamieson, ‘walking on water’ at Loch Lomond, one of Scotland’s most famous beauty spots.
The 25-year-old from Glasgow has had a great start to his 2014 campaign, with a win in the 200m Breaststroke at the Flanders Speedo Cup in January and a second place in the Berlin International in early March, building on his new Commonwealth record of 2:01.43 which he set at the European Short Course Championships last December, where he took the silver medal.
Training down at University of Bath, Michael will return to home soil for the next two weeks to join fellow Scots, who will battle it out firstly at the Scottish Swimming Championships (3-6 April) then the British (10-15 April), to secure their places on Team Scotland for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
“I will be aiming to qualify for the team the first week and basically only swim the following week if I feel I can swim faster,” he said. “The more rest you have, the faster you swim. Coaches usually tend to cut your rest a bit short so that’s why I have entered the British Champs the second week, just to give myself the option to post a faster time.”
Amongst the events most hotly contested will be the 100m and 200m Breaststroke and outstanding as his form is, Michael Jamieson, the Olympic silver medallist from London 2012, is under no illusion that he will have to fight for his place particularly over the shorter distance. “I’ve put a lot of work into the 100m this year,” he said. “There are a couple of young guys who have been swimming fast in the 100m this season so it will be interesting to see if I can still give them a run for their money in the sprint event.”
Fellow Scots Craig Benson, Ross Murdoch and Englishman Adam Peaty are amongst Jamieson’s biggest rivals. “It will be a good race I think,” said Michael. “It’s so closely packed. Statistically Scotland is the strongest nation in the world in the 100m Breaststroke just now, which is unbelievable. I think the third ranked Scottish guy on paper just now is 60.0sec and that would have been top 10 in London. It’s crazy, but it’s great for the sport and great for Team Scotland. Fingers crossed all three of us will be swimming the event in Glasgow and we should all be making the final. But I’m struggling to match those guys in the 100.With my stroke, my physiological make-up, I’m built to swim the 200. I need to drop a lot of time this year if I’m going to be in the mix in on the 100.”
Looking forward to swimming back in what was once his home pool Jamieson said: “It’s going to be great at Tollcross. I swam there for six or seven years when I was younger. That was when I did the hard yards – it was a pretty brutal programme.
“It’s amazing to be going back there. I had a taster with the Duel in the Pool, which was a huge success with a sell-out crowd. It was an amazing event and gave me an insight into what it will be like this summer.”
Michael is also aware that his increased profile in the build-up to the Games as a Glasgow 2014 Ambassador brings with it certain pressures. “You want to be competing at the top level and with that comes expectation and pressure,” he said. “Thus far I think I have managed it ok.
“I’m up on the first day in Glasgow and I have a responsibility there for the rest of the team, for everyone that’s supported me over the years. I want to be ready on day one to deliver the result that everyone is looking for. Day one of a home Games sets the precedent for the rest of the competition.”
You can follow Michael on Twitter @MJ88Live
Photo credit: Alistair Devine