Stirling Swimmers win 4 medals at World Aquatics Championships

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Stirling University’s high-performance swimmers return from the World Aquatics Championships in Fukuoka, Japan with four medals between them. 

Eight swimmers from the University made the trip to Japan, representing four different countries. Duncan Scott, Lucy Hope, Keanna McInnes, Katie Shanahan and Jack MacMillan swam for the GB team.

Salvador Gordo represented Angola, Swaleh Talib represented Kenya and Paige Van Der Westhuizen represented Zimbabwe.  

Olympic medalist Scott who was the first Brit to win four medals at a single Olympic games in Tokyo in 2021 missed the World Championships last year due to illness.

This year he brought home a gold and bronze in relay events and an individual silver medal from the Worlds, which ran between July 23 – 30.  

University of Stirling swimmer Duncan Scott (3rd from left) with GB gold winning relay team; Image Credit: Scottish Swimming

A gold, a silver and two bronze medals for Stirling swimmers

Scott, and his teammates Matthew Richards, James Guy and Tom Dean won gold in the 4 x 200m Freestyle relay with a time of 6:59.08. Team GB placed first in front of the US in second place and the team from Australia in third. 

Teammate Lucy Hope was able to win a bronze in the same relay; the Mixed 4 x 100m, in which she helped the team to qualify for the finals. Scott swam the final alongside Matthew Richards, Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson.

They placed third behind the US in second place and the Australians who brought home gold. 

Stirling graduate Duncan Scott, 26, says: “I was absolutely gutted to miss out on Worlds last year. What I love to do is compete on the highest stage, and not getting to do that last year was really upsetting. 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.” 

In the individual Men’s 200m Medley, Scott was able to secure a silver medal finishing 1.13 seconds behind French swimmer Leon Marchand and just 0.12 seconds before teammate Tom Dean who came third.

Along with her bronze medal, University of Stirling sport scholar Lucy Hope placed fourth in the Women’s 4 x 100m and 4 x 200m Freestyle relays.

From left to right: Duncan Scott, Lucy Hope, Katie Shanahan and Keanna MacInnes pictured with Head Performance Swim Coach Steven Tigg (centre). Image Credit: University of Stirling

Stirling athletes are able to show off their hard work

19-year-old Stirling swimmer Katie Shanahan also returned home with a fourth place in the 200m Backstroke final. Before the event, Shanahan said: “I’m so excited to be selected for my first World Championships. Watching in the past few years, and seeing everyone race, it looks so much fun.” 

The World Championships represent the quality of athletes, which the University of Stirling is proud to call their own. David Bond, Head of Performance Sport at the University says: “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.” 

Salvador Gordo, 20, who swam for Angola says: “To represent my country in any competition is an honour. To do it again, at a World Championships, is an even greater honour and I’m very excited”. 

Stirling’s swimmers are now working hard towards qualifying for the Olympic Games in Paris 2024. Cathy Gallagher, Executive Director for Sport at the University of Stirling says that the World Championships were “excellent preparation for the athletes in the lead up to next year’s Olympic Games.”  

Next weekend four of the University’s swimmers head off to the next international competition in Ireland for the European Under-23s Championships.

Feature Image Credit: University of Stirling

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