Setting personal bests in the pool is something every swimmer aspires to – and is why Warrender disability swimmer Scott Quin returned home from the recent Dubai International meet with a smile etched across his face.
The 23-year-old ventured to the United Arab Emirates with some of his Edinburgh club-mates for an 11-day trip which not only included some intense competition in the water, but an opportunity to unwind and enjoy their exotic location.
Quin, who suffers from learning difficulties and competes under the S14 discipline, certainly found his temporary surroundings inspiring, but wasn’t detracted from delivering some excellent performances which saw him break his 200 metres breaststroke PB by almost a second, set a personal best on his 50 metres breaststroke and achieve another PB in the 200 metres freestyle.
Recalling some of the highlights from his time spent in Dubai, Quin said: “Dubai is a completely different world. They don’t do medium-sized, everything is just bigger! At night everything just looks like a scene from a movie so it was so impressive to actually see. We had a lot of spare time as well which was good and there were plenty of things to do.
“Even though it was a small meet, I really enjoyed the competition. It’s been good for me as I’ve got one more meet, the Scottish Championships, before the British Disability Championships in April. It is [in] this event that you can still qualify for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, but my target is to make the team for the European Championships which are in Eindhoven at the beginning of August.”
As he has settles back into his training base at the Royal Commonwealth Pool, Quin says now is the time to make his mark over his opponents as he intends improving on the fifth place in his favoured 100 metres breaststroke he attained almost three years ago in Berlin.
That is, of course, assuming he reaches the qualification times set when he attends the trials next month in Glasgow. But he is already plotting beyond the trials and eyeing a position on the podium this time around.
He said: “I was in Berlin in 2011 so hopefully this time I can firstly secure my place, and then get myself a medal. I’m viewing this as a stepping stone for the World Championships next year and then the Olympics in Rio the following year after that.”
On the subject of international competition, Quin is predicting a few of his Warrender club-mates to be in strong pursuit of gold when the Commonwealth Games get underway in July, saying: “I would expect Craig McNally to make the team, (Craig) Benson . . . I would love to see redeem himself after he missed out on the World’s last year. We’ve also got Dan Wallace, who lives out in the States and Megan Briggs as well, so for Warrender it would be great to have all those guys there.”
The Edinburgh swimmer has just returned from Loughborough after attending a two-day workshop attended by Sir Chris Hoy upon receiving confirmation of support from a leading UK sports charity.
He added: “I’ve just secured some funding from SportsAid so it’s nice that they’re going to be helping me out.”