Ross Murdoch believes nothing can replicate the sensation of performing in front of your home crowd and can’t wait to return to Glasgow for the European Short Course Swimming Championships.
The 25-year-old, from Balloch, won 200m breaststroke gold at the 2016 European Long Course Championships in London after becoming Commonwealth champion at Glasgow 2014.
But this year has seen Murdoch miss out on success, notably at the 2019 edition of the World Championships when he missed out at the 200m breaststroke final.
The European Short Course Championships therefore takes on even more significance with less than 100 days to go, with the Scot knowing the importance of the competition in his Tokyo 2020 Olympic preparation.
“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.”
The Tollcross International Swimming Centre plays hosts to the championships from December 4-8 and Murdoch has fond memories of the pool.
He won 200m breaststroke gold and 100m breaststroke bronze at the venue during the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
And Murdoch recognises how fortunate he has been to be able to compete in a place where the crowd is unequivocally backing his every swim.
“Swimming in front of my home crowd again there’s no feeling like it really, to be swimming at a top level at home,” Murdoch 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. 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.”
You can join Ross Murdoch at one of the biggest sporting events of the year by buying tickets now from www.euroswim2019.com