A PAIR of Warrington swimmers have gained selection for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this summer, writes Alex Bysouth.
Teenager Kathleen Dawson and Aisha Thornton have clocked times in qualifying events that has seen them called up for Scotland.
“They’ve been fast enough to make the final,” said Darren Ashley, who coachees the duo at Warriors of Warrington and praised their desire to succeed.
Great Sankey High School pupil Dawson, aged 16, has been identified by governing body British Swimming as having the potential to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio in two years’ time.
She represented Great Britain in the European Junior Championships in Poland last year, winning a silver medal, and is a British age group and Scottish senior backstroke record holder over 100m and 50m.
Dawson has been chosen in the 50m backstroke and 4x100m medley, while Thornton, aged 22, from Great Sankey, has been picked for the 800m freestyle.
The Loughborough University student is in the Scottish team despite fracturing an elbow at the turn of the year.
“She’s done well to recover in such a small space of time,” said Ashley, who hopes to be part of Scotland’s coaching staff in Glasgow.
“Both girls are dedicated though, and have been since they joined us when they were eight or nine.
“Qualification for the Commonwealth Games puts them on the right course to take part in the Olympic Games.”
Thornton was fifth fastest in the women’s 800m freestyle in the British Gas Swimming Championships, also in Glasgow, last week.
Meanwhile Dawson was sixth in both the women’s 100m and 50m backstroke.
Team Scotland’s aquatics team for the Commonwealth Games is their largest in history, with 38 swimmers and two divers selected.
Scotland's women's aquatics team for 2014: Katie Armitage (100m Breaststroke), Kathleen Dawson (50m Backstroke, 4x100m Medley), Fiona Donnelly (4x100m Medley), Megan Gilchrist (4x200m Freestyle), Sian Harkin (50m Freestyle, 50m Butterfly, 4x100m Freestyle, 4x100m Medley), Camilla Hattersley (800m Freestyle), Lucy Hope (4x200m Freestyle), Kathryn Johnstone (50m & 100m Breaststroke, 4x100m Medley), Rachel-Louise Masson (4x100m Freestyle), Caitlin McClatchey (200m Freestyle, 4x100m Freestyle, 4x200m Freestyle), Hannah Miley (800m Freestyle, 200m Breaststroke, 200m & 400m IM), Rachel O'Donnell (4x100m Freestyle, 4x200m Freestyle), Corrie Scott (50m &100m Breaststroke), Andrea Strachan (50m Breaststroke), Aisha Thornton (800m Freestyle).