Dan Wallace back home to snare another medal

Dan Wallace is looking 'to the Rio Games
Dan Wallace is looking 'to the Rio Games
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Edinburgh swimmer Dan Wallace is based in Florida but whenever he comes home celebrations are part of the deal.

He was back for his 21st birthday in April and then the Warrender swimmer was a star of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer, winning gold in the 400m individual medley and silver in the 200m and the 4 x 200m relay.

This time, just 24 hours after he landed at Edinburgh airport, he was as proud as punch at his sister Rebecca’s wedding in Aberlady – and then, of course, there is Christmas.

During this three-week stint back with his family, the University of Florida student also aims to add to his haul of swimming medals at this weekend’s Scottish Gas National Short Course Championships at Edinburgh’s Royal Commonwealth Pool. He has entered the three medley events plus the 200m and 400m freestyle in the three-day meet starting tomorrow. But he won’t be swimming in the final of his favourite 400m medley, due to yet another of those special celebrations.

“The final is on Sunday evening, but I’ve had an invite to the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in Glasgow so I’ll just swim in the morning heats,” he explained.

“It’s a shame about the clash, but it’s a show I’ve watched on TV and it will be great to be there. But I’ll still be hoping to post a good time in the heats.”

In May, Wallace was arrested for urinating on a police car in Florida – a moment of madness that threatened to end his Commonwealth Games journey before it had even started.

But he used the experience to make Glasgow an even better experience and he doesn’t shrink from talking about the silly act.

“Yes, it was hard to come back from it,” he said. “But it definitely gave me extra motivation. Everyone at the university was so supportive. When I went back after the Games they were all dead happy for me.”

Wallace’s next big goal is the 2015 World Championship in Russia, then the longer-term target is Rio 2016, and the chance of a first Olympic Games.

“I should complete my degree in anthropology at Florida a year from now and then I’ll focus on swimming before the Olympic Games,” he said.

He intends carrying on in the sport after the Olympics, although he is not sure where he will make his base. “If I make the Olympics and do well I think I will still carry on. I think I’ll still be able to get better.

“I would love to come back to Scotland but I’ve loved it in Florida and had a lot of success there. Its going to be a tough decision.

“I regularly keep in touch with coach Laurel Bailey (at Warrender) and she and my Florida coach, Gregg Troy, have a great relationship and make contact by email. It works well,” Wallace added.

He certainly intends to impress Bailey this weekend at the Commonwealth Pool. “It’s great to be back racing in Scotland and there’s a really strong line-up at the Commonwealth Pool,” he said.

“I haven’t rested for the Championships but I still want to make good times in all my events.”

Ross Murdoch, the Commonwealth Games 200m breaststroke champion, has been forced to withdraw from the Championships due to illness, but the line-up does include the man he relegated to second place, Michael Jamieson.

Hannah Miley, the Commonwealth 400m individual medley champion, is also in a line-up that includes a number of top English swimmers.