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Brodie: I can be the next big thing

THERE is no longer such a thing as popping out for a quiet bite to eat with Ross Murdoch, as his good friend and fellow Scottish swimmer Cameron Brodie recently discovered to his peril.

With Murdoch fresh from his giant-slaying gold medal-winning moment in the men's 200m breaststroke at the Commonwealth Games, the pair swung by their favourite eaterie in Stirling for a post-training snack. The result: utter carnage.

"Suddenly there was a queue of about 100 people all wanting to get their photograph taken with Ross," Brodie laughs."They were handing their phones to me to take the photos. That's the kind of recognition I want one day."

There's every chance Brodie, who took silver in the men's 4x200m freestyle relay at the Games, could realise that dream in the not-too-distant future. He came within a hair's breadth of bronze in the men's 200m butterfly final at Glasgow 2014, missing out by a mere 0.16 of a second.

The 21-year-old from Inverurie qualified fastest in the heats - finishing ahead of South Africa's Chad le Clos, the reigning Olympic, Commonwealth and world champion. In the final, the Scot was fourth behind winner Le Clos, with Australia's Grant Irvine taking second and Sebastien Rousseau of South Africa third.

"To finish fourth, I was disappointed at the time, but I don't think I could have gone any faster or that there is anything I could have done differently to change the outcome," he says.

On reflection, Brodie has drawn solace and a bolstered optimism from setting a new Scottish senior record of 1:56.59, leaving him the top-ranked British man in that event. That bodes well as he prepares to begin his campaign at the 2014 European Championships in Berlin on Wednesday.

"I was racing the top guys in the world at the Games and wasn't all that far away so that has given me a hell of a lot of confidence going into the Europeans," he said. "I'm ranked fifth or sixth which means I should make the final and once I'm there, who knows what could happen?"

Brodie is one of only three Scots, alongside Murdoch and Stephen Milne, who will compete. Hannah Miley, Dan Wallace and Michael Jamieson are among the notable absentees, having agreed with British Swimming chiefs prior to the Games that they would skip the European Championships, while Robbie Renwick withdrew on Friday.

Brodie, who is part of the University of Stirling programme and trains under Ben Higson, certainly has the measure of his main rivals, having progressed through the ranks from junior level with many of them.

"All of the guys I will be racing this time around I've raced at European juniors in the past," he says. "The ones who are top at the moment haven't really improved that much since then. They are still swimming incredibly quick but they haven't made the big jump like I have this year and that gives me confidence."

As he begins his final preparations, Brodie said team-mate Murdoch is an inspiration. "From day one when Ross arrived at Stirling we called him The King just for his sheer attitude," he says. "He wasn't all that good a swimmer, he'd done a few things at junior level, but he came in with this amazing attitude of 'I'm going to be the best in the world.' My own expectations have certainly been raised because of what he has achieved."

l Scotland's Duncan Scott is one of eight British swimmers set to compete in the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China, with the action getting under way later today.

The 17-year-old from Alloa, who is the reigning European junior 200m individual medley champion, will contest that event as well as the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle.

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