Stirling swimmers jet off to Japan ahead of World Championships

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Eight swimmers from the University of Stirling – representing four countries – are jetting off to Japan in the coming days ahead of the World Aquatics Championships.

Stirling swimmers Duncan Scott, Katie Shanahan, Lucy Hope, Keanna MacInnes and Jack McMillan are all part of the 29-strong British team heading to Fukuoka, while Salvador Gordo will swim for Angola, Swaleh Talib for Kenya, and Paige Van Der Westhuizen for Zimbabwe.

The swimming events- held in Fukuoka- will run from 23 to 30 July.

Left to right:  Duncan Scott, Lucy Hope, Steven Tigg (Head Performance Swim Coach), Katie Shanahan, Keanna MacInnes. Image credit: University of Stirling

Duncan Scott, 26, said: “The World Championships mean a lot to me. It’s one of the biggest events in our sport and I’ve plenty of good memories in Japan; I’m really looking forward to heading out there.

“I’m kicking off with relays and I’m part of some amazing relay teams with the 4x200m freestyle winning in Tokyo (2020 Olympics) and we’ve had some good World Championships successes in that relay too. I guess, we are there to win.

Katie Shanahan, 19, said: “I’m so excited to be selected for my first World Championships. Watching it the past few years, and seeing everyone racing, it looks so much fun”

Salvador Gordo, 20, said: “To represent my country in any competition is an honour. I just want to set some good times, hopefully get a personal best, which will help me set off on my path to qualifying for the next Olympics.”

Paige Van Der Westhuizen, 20, said: “It is a big honour to represent Zimbabwe at the World Championships. It’s quite an achievement and I’m very happy about it. I’m really hoping to get some personal bests and some fast times in Japan, and hopefully build towards the Olympics next year. I’m excited and ready to race.”

The competition comes as The University of Stirling further enhances its training environment with the installation of a state-of-the-art performance analysis system. 

SwimTrack is a 10-camera system, powered by artificial intelligence. With four cameras located underwater, four in the roof and one at each end of the pool, the technology is synchronised to provide automated tracking and multiple angles of the high-performance swimmers.

Steven Tigg, Head Performance Coach at the University of Stirling, added: “We’re really excited by SwimTrack. For future generations of swimmers, it will be really valuable in terms of performance analysis and research.”

David Bond, Head of Performance Sport at the University of Stirling, said: “To have so many athletes in Japan is testament to the hard work of the coaches and support staff, and also the fantastic environment we have here at the University of Stirling, which really is conducive to high performance sport.

“We’re extremely proud and really excited to see our swimmers compete out there.”

Featured image credit: University of Stirling

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I'm Matthew Burns, a fourth year journalism student covering Stirling Uni FC for the 23/24 season.

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