It’s been another fantastic season for Perth’s top swimmers, as the year came to a close with gold and silver medals for Stephen Milne and Scott McLay.
Stephen was over in Budapest for the World Championships representing Team GB, while Scott was in competing in the British summer meet having just returned from the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
Milne and the rest of Team GB’s men’s relay swimmers set a new British record in the final which smashed their previous record set in Rio 2016, and they successfully defended their world title in the process, picking up gold medals in the 4x200m freestyle. They held of the challenge of the Russians and the Americans who finished second and third respectively, and Milne, who swam the lead off leg in Rio and again in Budapest, was delighted to have contributed to the team’s success.
“It was an absolute honour to be one of the five British men who went out to defend the 4x200 freestyle world title, and to watch the flag rise here in Budapest. Thank you so much to everyone for your support and good wishes. It’s been a fantastic way to end this season and I’m already looking forward to next.”
Stephen was also quick to praise his coach of fifteen years, Ann Dickson, who has played a big part in the 23-year-old’s success at Olympic and world level. It was an absolute honour to be one of the five British men who went out to defend the 4x200 freestyle world title. She has recently helped him to switch his focus from the long-distance 1500m events to shorter distance swims and after a difficult start, he now feels like he’s ready to progress with the new strategy.
“It’s been the start of a new four-year cycle towards Tokyo but it was a ten-year goal to get to Rio 2016. I’ve always enjoyed the challenge of the 1500m but there’s been a different emphasis this year.
“I’ve not quite settled into the new pattern and race strategy yet but with this first season under my belt, I’ve begun to feel more in touch with what I need to work on in training, and how to refine things in order to progress.
“Ann has encouraged me to develop my confidence in the shorter events. She has worked hard to help me see the potential without the 1500m focus. It’s been tough to shift my sights away from that long held goal, but I’m looking forward to what 2018 will bring, and beyond.”
Ann has just recently returned from the Bahamas where she watched another of Perth’s swim stars, Scott McClay, become the most decorated athlete in the history of the Commonwealth Youth Games. Scott won three gold medals, one silver and a team bronze while representing Scotland over in Nassau. He followed that up with success at the British swim meet in Sheffield over the weekend, when the 18-year-old was on the podium again as he picked up two silver medals in the 50m freestyle on Saturday and the 100m freestyle on Thursday.
With years of experience coaching young swimmers to national and international success, Ann knows what it takes to reach the top and she paid tribute to her Perth City Swim Club stars hard-work, which has enabled them to achieve so much success.
“No-one is born a winner. Talent plays a very small part in the longer term. Commitment, determination and resilience are what count. With good support and strong self-belief, everyone is capable of realising their potential.”
For more information about joining Perth City Swim Club as a swimmer or volunteer, contact the Club Secretary.
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