Ross Murdoch believes nothing can replicate the sensation of performing in front of your home crowd and can’t wait to return to Glasgow at the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships.
The 25-year-old from Balloch announced himself on the world stage in Glasgow when he won 200m breaststroke gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Since then he has enjoyed more success including a 2016 European long course title in the 200m breaststroke, but at the World Championships in Gwangju earlier this year, Murdoch missed out on a place in the final in his preferred event.
However, with the European Short Course Championships less than 100 days away, Murdoch knows how important this meet is in the build up towards Tokyo 2020.
“I’m enjoying training. By the time the European championships come around I’ll have been training for 12 weeks at that point so I’ll be fit enough when that comes around,” Murdoch said.
“I’ve yet to be selected for the team so I can’t speak too much about my hopes and aspirations but initially it will be to get picked and then when I go there to try and make finals.
“My short course swimming has been a lot stronger over the past three years than it ever has been and it’s all been slowly getting better every single year.
“So, it’s just taking some goals I achieved last year and look how I can progress those on for this December, seeing if I can get in about some finals and possibly in about some medals.
“As an event this is going to be really important leading up to the Olympic trials for sure.
“The short course season sets up your skills because there’s more walls and more turns to be ready for the long course season.
“If you can’t turn well or have your underwater on form, you’re going to miss out and that’s what’s going to make the difference.
“It’s just going to set us up really nicely to progress through to the long course season.”
That #FridayFeeling when you realise it’s the weekend tomorrow ?
— Euro Swim 2019 (@euroswim2019) August 30, 2019
The Tollcross International Swimming Centre plays hosts to the championships between 4 to 8 December and Murdoch has fond memories of the pool.
At the 2014 Games he got the better of Olympic silver-medallist and compatriot Michael Jamieson to take 200m breaststroke gold, while also scooping 100m breaststroke bronze.
Murdoch recognises how fortunate he has been to be able to compete in home water with the support of the crowd behind him.
“Swimming in front of my home crowd again there’s no feeling like it really, to be swimming at a top level at home,” he added.
“I’d like to say that doesn’t happen so often but I’ve had it so often in my career I’ve been very lucky.
“To do it again would be amazing and any time winning an international medal is a very special moment so if I can do it at home, it will be the best.
“I’ve still got so many memories from Tollcross, standing on the block when everybody is cheering.
“It’s just an absolutely spectacular place to be when you’re the home athlete.
“I think the atmosphere in Glasgow is going to be great, it always is. We’ve held two major events in the past at Tollcross so to have another one there, it’s going to be packed and everybody is going to be bouncing.”