Katie Shanahan defies own expectations with second Commonwealth medal

·4 min read
Katie Shanahan defies own expectations with second Commonwealth medal

Teen sensation Katie Shanahan defied even her own expectations as she claimed a surprise second bronze of the Commonwealth Games in the 200m backstroke.

The 18-year-old from Glasgow followed up her first medal in the 400m individual medley on Friday with another third place after touching the wall in 2:09.22.

Her performance came just minutes after teammate Duncan Scott also took bronze in the pool for his tenth Commonwealth Games medal, equalling the most-ever for a Scot.

Scott later teamed up with Stephen Milne, Evan Jones and Mark Szaranek in the men’s 4x200m freestyle final, securing his record-breaking 11th medal with a stirring final leg for bronze.

But it was Shanahan’s improbable third place behind Australia’s Kaylee McKeown and Kylie Masse that stole the show and left her struggling to comprehend her achievement.

“I can't believe I’ve just gone and done that, “ said Shanahan, who is one of over 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.

“To come away with a bronze medal with the likes of Kaylee McKeown and Kylie Masse as the champions, it's absolutely amazing.

“I can't actually believe it. I came into this meet just hoping to make a few finals and have a bit of fun so to come away with two bronze medals, I can't ask for much more than that.

“It's definitely a lot of fun and it’s a good learning experience for me as well coming away with two bronze medals and to set off the team with more medals, it's really good.

“It’s been amazing, the whole vibe and atmosphere we have in the team area. The vibes are just contagious, it’s just positive there is no negativity at all. I think that is a reason I swam so well, the team is just all behind me and it doesn’t matter if anyone has a good summer or a bad summer, everyone is really behind them.

“It's a really good environment. Knowing that they are all behind me, it makes me swim much faster for them but I didn’t think I would get a medal, the three girls in front of me were really fast.

“I wasn't putting any pressure on myself to come away with a medal. I’m really happy and that’s given me so much confidence going forward.

“I'm at Europeans at the end of this month, so to come away with two bronze medals is perfect. It’s setting me in good stead for my senior career as well, transitioning from junior to senior isn’t always easy.”

Shanahan’s performance was the perfect response after she missed out on qualification for the 200m individual medley final earlier in the day and she earned high praise from teammate Scott when asked whether his bronze-medal had inspired her feat.

He said: “Maybe it’s her performances that are contagious, she started the meet off so well.”

Scott finished third behind Australia’s Kyle Chalmers and England rival Tom Dean, who he beat in the men’s 200m freestyle, and the 25-year-old was satisfied with his medal.

“That’s exactly how I thought it would go to be honest. It’s always a bit cagey, it’s never that fast and it’s pretty standard to be honest. I knew I was in the mix,” he said.

“I knew if I went a bit quicker than the heats I would be in with a chance of nicking a medal. These boys are producing good times and they were able to deliver again.

“I’m feeling a lot better than last night. I think the morning off helped a lot as I was really struggling at the end of last night with the first couple of days I had.

“It was a tough back-to-back physically and mentally so this morning was good to have off and I have tomorrow off to kind of reset.”

Meanwhile, Ross Murdoch qualified for the men’s 50m breaststroke final ahead of fellow Scot Archie Goodburn, with Craig Benson also progressing from his semi-final in third.

Kara Aline Hanlon also squeezed through to the women’s 100m breaststroke final, finishing fourth in her semi-final, while Scott Gibson finished sixth in the men’s 50m backstroke.

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