CRAIG MCNALLY knows only too well the emotions that start to set in in the few weeks preceding a major championship.

Later this month, McNally will travel to Australia’s Gold Coast as one of the 25-strong Scottish swimming squad for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

His preparations are in the very last stretch now, with the Edinburgh International Swim Meet, which doubles as the British Championships and begins today at Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Pool, an integral part of his build-up.

McNally, who is a former British champion, has a busy few days ahead competing, as he is, in the 50m, 100m and 200m backstroke, as well as the mixed medley relay and the meet will give him the perfect chance to gauge what shape he is in and with the very best of Britain’s swimmers in attendance.

And with McNally hailing from Edinburgh, although he now lives and trains in Glasgow, the opportunity to compete in his home city is always welcome. “I’m feeling good so I’m excited going into this meet to see how I can do,” the 25-year-old said. “And this will hopefully give me an idea of where I am in terms of form ahead of the Commonwealth Games.”

McNally’s preparation for Gold Coast 2018 could not have been better, with a prolonged warm-weather training camp in Perth, Australia the perfect way to sharpen up his form as well as get used to the conditions he will encounter at the Games next month.

McNally’s finished in fifth position in the final of the 200m backstroke at Glasgow 2014 and so an improvement on that, as well as a strong relay performance is where he is pinning his hopes in Gold Coast. “We’re feeling confident about the relay,” he said. “We all know each other well, we all get on really well and so it’s going to be really exciting to see how we can do.”

McNally will be in exalted company in Edinburgh over the next four days with Hannah Miley, Ross Murdoch and Duncan Scott all racing, as is world and Olympic champion, Englishman Adam Peaty.