Five Stirling students are going to be in the Olympics

We’re still good at sport

On August 5th the world’s greatest athletes will parade around the Maracanã in Rio to mark the beginning of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games and Stirling University.

Amongst the starlets of Team GB will be four Scottish swimmers and current Stirling students who will take to the pool and here they are.

Ross Murdoch

Murdoch was introduced as a real contender in swimming when he won 200m metre breaststroke gold at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years ago. Not only did he win the gold but also pipped fellow Scottish teammate and poster-boy for the games in Glasgow, Michael Jamieson, to a gold medal many expected Jamieson to win.

Jamieson missed out on Rio qualification after finishing fifth at the British trials in Glasgow, but Murdoch has spoken of his admiration for Jamieson in an interview with Scottish Swimming saying “he really opened my eyes to the fact that Scottish swimmers really can get medals”.

Murdoch will look to add to his already impressive medal tally after winning a 100m breaststroke bronze at the World Championships in 2015 and silver in the 50m and 100m British Trials this year. Speaking of his chances to win a medal in the 100m breaststroke, Murdoch told Scottish Swimming “if you’ve got a lane, you’ve got a chance”

Robbie Renwick

Renwick has been a stalwart of team GB for many years now and over the years and proved a pivotal member of team GB’s relay teams with Renwick diving in as the last swimmer of the team and powering through to win medals.

Renwick recognises his role as an experienced head in the team as he told Scottish Swimming, “I am looking to use my experience from my two previous Olympic Games to deliver a medal”

Renwick has had multiple successes at Commonwealth level, winning silver in each of the last three Commonwealth Games in the 4x200m events in Melbourne in 2006, Delhi in 2010 and Glasgow in 2014. Renwick’s success has also continued onto last year’s World Championships in Delhi, winning gold in the 4x200m freestyle and this year’s European Championships in London, winning gold in the 4x100m medley.

Renwick pinpointed the 4x200m race as an important race for the team and as he told Scottish Swimming, “a real opportunity for a medal”

Duncan Scott

Scott is an athlete not to take lightly, at the age of only 19 Duncan has won several medals across several disciplines.

His first medal came in 2014 with a silver in the 4x100m freestyle race at Glasgow 2014 at only 17 years old. Success in the pool continued for Scott as he went onto become the most decorated member of Team GB at the 2015 European Games with 3 golds and 3 silvers over several races including freestyle, freestyle relay and individual medley events. Scott then went onto win gold at the World Championships last year in the 4x200m freestyle.

One noticeable hurdle to Duncan Scott, particularly in the 4x100m freestyle event will be the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, who will be competing as part of the USA team in this event and will prove a tricky task for team GB. Duncan told Scottish Swimming he “can’t wait to race against the best in the world in Michael Phelps”

Craig Benson

Benson is another example of the tremendous young talent being produced by Scotland and particularly by Stirling University, at the age of 22, Benson has shown great promise for what is to come and this year’s games could be his opportunity to show his talents.

He has competed already in the Olympics in 2012 as part of the team GB 4x100m breaststroke team, failing to make the final. Benson was the youngest member of the GB swimming squad in 2012.

Benson’s potential talent has been recognised with several awards, namely the award of the Sunday Mail’s Young Sports Personality of the Year 2012.

This potential has started to show in the last few years with a 4x100m mixed medley gold medal win at this year’s European Championships and also winning gold at the US Open Championships 200m breaststroke final, beating Michael Phelps in the process.

Speaking to Scottish Swimming Benson felt “a medal was is not an unrealistic target”.

Murdoch, Scott, Renwick and Benson will be in action from August 6th when the action in the pool kicks off this year’s Olympic Games