ACT Construction (Europe) Ltd is delighted to hear that Scottish swimming star Ross Murdoch is on his way to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.
The 27-year-old, who is a long-time acquaintance of the company, secured his place in the GB squad after making the benchmark time for qualification at British Swimming selection trials in London. He will compete in Japan in the 200m breast-stroke race.
ACT managing director Ken Godsman said: “We were all very pleased to hear that our friend Ross will compete for Team GB in Tokyo this year. He is an outstanding athlete and we will be watching his races closely and willing him on.
“We are hoping he will go as far as the finals in Japan.”
Training for the Olympics
Ross, a Commonwealth gold medalist from 2014, is focusing on training for his A race of 2021. We caught up with the talented athlete, who trains in Stirling, recently to find out about his training schedule and his hopes for the Olympics.
At the last Olympics in Rio in 2016 he was disappointed not to make it to the finals in the 100m breaststroke.
He said: “I am really pleased to have qualified for the 200m breast-stroke. I think it is a good opportunity for me to step up the distance, while the pace of the longer swim suits me.”
Like many professional athletes, Covid lockdown has affected his training. He said: “I had 15 weeks out of the pool, early in lockdown, which was hard.
“It was a relief to be able to get back to training again after such a long time and it did take a while to regain the lost fitness but I am very pleased to have hit the qualifying time for Tokyo.
“It is not the fastest I have swum and I am sure I have more gains to make but I am happy to be in the GB. Team.
Ross: Silver lining of lockdown
A silver lining of his time out from swimming has been the discovery of a love of running – and the space to think about his sporting career.
He said: “I needed to stay fit while I wasn’t able to swim and running was the obvious choice but I was worried the running would affect my knees. I’ve had trouble with my knees before.
“Thankfully, when I tried running, I took to it really well. I also cycled for fitness but it’s the running that I most enjoy.
“I find it really calming, almost meditative, to go for a long run. I think it has also been beneficial to have some time out for the pressures of professional sport and to think about my swimming career.”
Ross realised he still felt driven to be a top swimmer. He said: “I guess with time out I had time to consider my future in the sport and whether I wanted to carry on with my swimming career. I knew I wanted to.
“I liked being able to push myself with the running, such as doing runs like half-marathons, and I have an ambition to be able to run from my home to the top of a local hill, Dumyat, which I will do after the Olympics.”
Hopes for the Tokyo Olympics
Ross has clear goals for the Olympics. He said: “I didn’t make the final of the 100m breast-stroke race at the last Olympics, so my ambition for this Olympics is to get to the final.
“It is an unbelievably competitive field in the 200m breast-stroke and we have all had an extra year for training so I will see how it is when I get to Tokyo.
“I’d also like to swim faster than my time trials recently.
“As we know and have seen before, anything can happen in the race of the final eight swimmers so to be in that race is my goal.”
The Tokyo Olympics, which should have gone ahead in 2020, takes place from July 23 to August 8.
Ross hopes to head out to Japan a couple of weeks earlier in preparation.
He said: “Because we swim indoors, the weather and temperature are not such a problem for swimmers heading to a new country, but the different time zone will require some adjusting to.”
Ken added: “From all of us at ACT, we wish Ross the very best of luck in Tokyo. We will be cheering him on from Scotland.”