Swimming: Edinburgh University trio make waves with Commonwealth Games Birmingham bid

Scott Gibson has all but booked his place at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, a fortnight after his chances looked dead in the water when he caught Covid.

The 22-year-old is one of three Edinburgh University swimmers, along with Kara Hanlon and Archie Goodburn, to post consideration times for this summer’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham after strong performances at the British Championships in Sheffield this week.

The event was the key selection meet for international events across the summer, including the World Championships and European Championships and Gibson backed up a record-breaking heat swim with another strong performance in the final of the 50m backstroke.

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He touched home in 25.38to break the Scottish record he set for the event at BUCS back in February. Although he couldn’t quite match the speed in the final, finishing second in 25.45, it was still within the consideration standard for Birmingham, which means he can gear up for a breakthrough summer.

He said: “Two weeks ago, I tested positive for Covid. So to come here and even just swim best times is more than I could ask for. And being consistently under the consideration is pretty good all things considered given my prep. I’m happy with it.“It did take the pressure off that I’ve banked swims earlier in the year. I’m a bit gutted about the end result but given the uncertainty I had going into this meet, I’m pretty buzzing too. It would be amazing to be in my first international team and competing for Scotland.

“Edinburgh University has a great programme and reputation at the Commonwealth Games. We’ve had a couple of changes and the whole structure and team itself is the best place to push on and hopefully a lot of my teammates will be on that team as well.”University teammate Hanlon, who hails from Stornoway, backed up her early season form with another strong show in the 50m breaststroke final, finishing third in a time also under the Birmingham 2022 nomination mark. Team-mate Katie Goodburn finished fourth.

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Hanlon, who also took 200m breaststroke bronze at the meet, said: “It would mean everything to be selected to Team Scotland.

“It’s something I’ve been chasing for a long time, and I missed out very narrowly in 2018 and that was pretty tough, so to come and do it four years later is everything I wanted.”

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Edinburgh University's Kara Hanlon picked up two breaststroke bronze medals and posted a consideration time for the Commonwealth Games in the 50m

Goodburn, another Edinburgh University, finished fourth in the 100m breaststroke final but also posted a consideration time for Birmingham.

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He said: “It’s been an up and down time for me coming off the back of World Juniors in 2019. I moved to the Loughborough National Training Centre. I felt that was the right decision at the time and it’s a great programme there.

“Two and a half years on and with Covid I made the decision to return to Edinburgh and I'm so grateful to Mat Trodden and Chris Jones for welcoming me into the squad.

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“It was time for a change and I’m delighted that things are starting to pan out now. I’m really enjoying competing again and being back on my PBs.”

Archie Goodburn of Edinburgh University finished fourth in the 100m breaststroke final but also posted a consideration time for Birmingham.
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Edinburgh University's Scott Gibson recovered from Covid to post all but book his Team Scotland place at the 2022 Commonwealth Games