Medal hero Kirsten eyes Games glory

kirstin swimmer
kirstin swimmer

CONTINUING her outstanding success in the pool this year, Kirstin McKinley won a bronze medal at the recent Commonwealth Youth Games on the Isle of Man.

Kirstin (16) helped Scotland’s 4x200m freestyle relay to a fantastic podium place finish behind exceptionally strong Australian and English quartets.

The three day event attracted 18 swimmers from Scotland, competing in a number of different races.

The Boclair Academy pupil also competed in the 50m, 100m and 200m freestyle with personal best times in all finishing 13th, seventh and sixth respectively.

In the two other team races she helped the Scottish squad to finish fourth in both the 4x100m Freestyle and 4x100m Medley Relays.

The teenager, from Falloch Road, said: “It was a bit of a surprise to do so well. I was expecting just to go down there and get a bit of experience.

“In the 4x200m freestyle relay we all had to swim eight lengths of a 25 metre pool so it was really important to get our turns right at the end of each lap.”

The Milngavie and Bearsden Amateur Swimming Club member said: “In the end the difference between silver and bronze came down to less than a second.”

Kirstin now has her sights set on the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

She said: “This is what I’m working towards. I’ll be 19 which is an ideal age for competing.”

Kirstin’s coach Craig Houston said: “The club is immensely proud of Kirstin’s performance at the Commonwealth Youth Games.

“She has worked extremely hard since she joined the club a little over a year ago and has performed above and beyond all expectations.

“Her bronze medal in the relay, and personal best times in all her other swims represent a fantastic achievement for both Kirstin and the club.”

The talented swimmer is the current Scottish junior champion at 50m and 100m freestyle and has established herself as the top junior sprint freestyler in Scotland.

She is now hoping to follow in the footsteps of current Commonwealth champions Hannah Miley and Robbie Renwick who both competed at the Youth games.

Overall the Scottish team who competed on at the Isle of Man were placed sixth in the medal table, with the swimming team contributed an impressive 11 medals to the nation’s overall total of 22 across all sports.