by Craig Wright
Stirling’s swimmers once again delivered on the global stage, providing a host of world-class performances across the world in the last week.
Duncan Scott led the way for the university’s contingent at the World Swimming Championships in Budapest, with the British champion over the 100m freestyle part of the 4x200m freestyle relay team that took gold in the Hungarian capital.
The 20-year-old was also part of the British 4x100m medley relay squad that claimed a silver medal in the final race of the meet, anchoring the team with a sub-48 second freestyle leg.
Speaking to Scottish Swimming following the event, Scott – who also recorded strong showings in the 100m and 200m freestyle relays – was positive in his reflections on the championship.
He said: “I’m delighted with how my week has gone. My individual races have been good and the relays have been incredible.
“That relay was incredible and to finish on a high like that, there is no better way to end the week than on the podium with these boys.”
Also part of the 4x100m medley relay squad was the university’s Ross Murdoch, who – despite being replaced in the final by 100m breaststroke world champion Adam Peaty – picked up a silver medal by virtue of racing in the semi-final.
The medal capped a return to form for Murdoch, who had missed out on an individual medal in the 200m breaststroke by just half a second earlier in the week.
Elsewhere, Kathleen Dawson was delighted to make the final of the 100m backstroke in her first world championships, having joined the university’s swim team towards the end of 2016.
The 19-year-old finished eighth in Budapest, and will now turn her attention to preparing for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.
Also hoping to make the Scottish team is Danielle Huskisson, after the university star backed up her 11th place finish in the 10km open water swim with a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard time in the 800m freestyle in Budapest.
Away from the world championships, Stirling’s swimmers were also on top form at the British Summer Championships in Sheffield, with Stephen Clegg providing the highlight as he achieved the qualifying standard for the IPC World Championships.
The man from East Lothian, a two-time Paralympian, swam a time of 58.49 seconds in the S12 100m butterfly to secure his place on the British team.
Elsewhere in the steel city, Calum Bain swam the required qualification time for the Commonwealth Games to put himself in with a real chance of making the Irish team that will head to the Gold Coast, whilst Craig Benson and Jamie Graham took gold and bronze respectively in the 50m breaststroke final.
Danielle Joyce flew the Stirling flag with pride at Deaflympics 2017 in Istanbul, with the 21-year-old producing a display of high-quality swimming to take home two gold and two bronze medals.
To cap off an incredible competition for the S15 athlete, she was then selected as the British flagbearer for the event’s closing ceremony in honour of her achievements.
Finally, marathon swimmer and Stirling lecturer Dr Phia Steyn wrote her name into the history books, becoming the first person ever to swim the full 25-mile length of Loch Awe.