Glasgow 2014 time for Warrender’s Craig Benson

Craig Benson.  Picture: SNS
Craig Benson. Picture: SNS
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When Craig Benson qualified for the London Olympics as a 17-year-old schoolboy, he was hailed as the great new find of Scottish swimming.

But he missed the 2013 World Championships and his confidence drained.

There was more heartache at the Scottish Commonwealth Games trials two weeks ago when he made a time in the 200m breaststroke but was outside the top three for nomination – then made the top three in the 100m but was outside the time.

However, things finally swung his way at the ongoing British Gas Championships at the Games venue of the Tollcross International Centre in Glasgow.

Having made the 100m time in the heats, he went into the final knowing that if he was one of the top three Scots then his selection for Glasgow 2014 should be safe.

Ross Murdoch won the race and Michael Jameison was third – but Benson managed to snatch the third Scottish spot in 1:01.50, just fractions ahead of Calum Tait, who had already qualified in the 200m.

Finishing seventh maybe wasn’t what Benson really wanted, but it didn’t really matter. He had achieved his goal and now he hopes to kick on and reach new peaks this summer.

“It’s been really tough for the last few months,” admitted the relieved Livingston 19-year-old. “I was so desperate to make the team. It would have been horrible to miss out on the Commonwealth Games.

“I was pretty nervous going into the final but I knew exactly what I had to do. I’m so happy to have made it.”

For Warrender coach Laurel Bailey, it was also a massive release of tension.

“Now that he has the time we can work towards the Games,” she said.

“He can relax and not worry about having to qualify.”

On the fourth day of the British Championships, Scotland’s Hannah Miley missed out on a 200m individual medley as England’s Siobhan Marie-O’Connor proved she will be one to watch this summer. The 18-year-old won the event in an English record 2:09.71.

Miley, the 24-year-old from Inverurie, will be defending the 400m medley in the same pool at the Glasgow 2014 but O’Connor proved that Scottish medal chances will be far tougher in the shorter event.

Miley was the fastest qualifier from the heats but she was always trailing behind the hot pace set O’Connor, who had already won the 200m freestyle on Thursday.