A gold medal and a new Scottish record yesterday (Sunday 10 April) took Stornoway swimmer Kara Hanlon a step closer to a place in the Commonwealth Games Scottish team.
Kara, who now swims for the University of Edinburgh, was competing at the British Swimming Championships in Sheffield, where she had already landed a bronze in the 50metre breaststroke and another in the 200m breaststroke in the early days of the competition.
But it was in her best event, the 100m breaststroke, that she claimed her gold, in a nail-biting final race where just 0.11 seconds separated the top three swimmers.
Reporting the race, British Swimming said: “Kara Hanlon secured her first British Senior title and third medal of the meet, with victory in the 100m breaststroke.
“In what was another very close final … Hanlon, who is coached by Mat Trodden at Edinburgh University, with her tried and tested back-end speed, took to the front of the pack, touching home in 1:07.52, both a Scottish Record and a Team Scotland consideration time for Birmingham.”
Scottish Swimming tweeted their congratulations soon after the result, praising her great swimming all week.
And friends back home were equally delighted for her. Fellow athlete Christina Mackenzie, the women’s world record-holder on the Land’s End to John O’Groats solo cycle, said: “Fantastic and well-deserved. Great to see all your hard work and determination paying off.”
In a pre-meet interview on YouTube’s Propulsion Swimming podcast channel (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LV8sNeI5xKE) Kara explained how she made her early training count, by travelling to Ness four times a week to train in the 12.5 metre pool at Lionel School, between the ages of 14 and 18.
Her story she said: “shows that you can come from any background and, if you really love what you do, you can do anything.”
The pictures show the medal announcement on Twitter and Kara in the pool immediately after her win (British Swimming).