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Leading competitors out to secure Team Scotland places

THE Commonwealth Games loom large for Scotland's leading swimmers who will be looking to rubber-stamp their places at the Scottish Gas National Open Championships at Tollcross from April 3-6, which are doubling as a selection meet for Team Scotland.

Most of the country's leading talent will be in attendance, including Olympic silver medallist Michael Jamieson, world champion Hannah Miley and fellow Olympians Robbie Renwick, Caitlin McClatchey and Craig Benson.

There are only three places for each individual event and the men's breaststroke will be particularly keenly contested.

"There are a lot of us in the mix," said Benson, the Warrender Park swimmer. "It's no longer about the qualifying time either as many of us are already under it so know that's achievable. For me, it is now about the race itself and finishing in the top three. My race strategy needs to be just right.

"I had a bit of a ropey start to the season but with the help of the team from the sportscotland Institute of Sport, I've changed my programme and in the last month my training has been the best I've ever done so I'm feeling good, I'm feeling confident.

"This is going to be a taster event for all the athletes, too, so I would want as many people as we can to come along and support us at what is our biggest event of the year outwith the summer Games themselves.

"That extra bit of support can provide those extra 0.10 seconds needed to make the team."

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