OSS Ambassador Kathleen Dawson is heading to her first Olympic Games after winning the British Trials 100m backstroke and will have company in her bid to become the first Scotswoman to win an Olympic swimming medal since 1952.
Kathleen and her University of Stirling teammate Cassie Wild finished first and second, respectively, in the British Swimming 2021 Olympic Trials in London tonight (Thursday), and both comfortably swam under the Olympic qualifying time. In fact, clocking 58.24 seconds, Kathleen posted the fastest time in the world in 2021 – and second fastest of the season – the eighth fastest women’s 100m backstroke time of all time and a new Scottish record. Her teammate Cassie followed her home in 59.51 to hold off experienced GB swimmer Georgia Davies, who was seeking to qualify for her third Olympic Games.
Kathleen (23), from Kirkcaldy, reached the Commonwealth Games finals in 2014 and 2018 and Cassie (20), originally from Edinburgh, reached the Gold Coast final in 2018, but neither have competed in the Olympics. They are expected to have their seats on the plane for Tokyo confirmed at Monday’s Team GB announcement. Scotland has not had a female Olympic swimming medal since Helen Gordon took bronze in the 200m breaststroke at the 1952 Helsinki Games.
“I’m completely delighted with it,” she said after emerging from the pool. “I didn’t expect to go quite that fast but I’m over the moon, and to have got under the consideration time (for the Olympics) with Cassie is even better. I can’t thank Brad, Steve and Darren (coaches) enough, and my family … there are too many people I need to thank for this.”
Cassie added: “I’m absolutely over the moon with that. Like Kat said, it’s nice for us to do it together. It’s been going well so I was hopeful of getting under the consideration time, and seeing everyone from Stirling swim so well it made me excited to race today.”
Another Stirling teammate, 23-year-old Duncan Scott, is assured of his Olympic place across several events and Lucy Hope, 24, from Jedburgh and the University of Edinburgh swim team, is also in contention for a relay place as Scotland bid for a strong contingent in the GB team.
See the full results here – Live Swimming Results.