Swimming: David Wilkie backs Ross Murdoch for Rio success

Ross Murdoch and Michael Jamieson (right) show off their Commonwealth Games medals
Ross Murdoch and Michael Jamieson (right) show off their Commonwealth Games medals

Former Olympic champion David Wilkie is tipping fellow Scotsman Ross Murdoch to win a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

But he thinks London 2012 silver medallist Michael Jamieson will find it tough to make the British team.

Murdoch beat hot favourite Jamieson to the 200m breaststroke gold at last year's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

"I think it mentally destroyed Michael for a while and he had to go away and take stock and work out where he wants to be," said Wilkie.

"He's a class swimmer but he took a big mental hit," Wilkie added.

"He was the golden boy of the Games and I really think he thought he could just turn up, swim four lengths and they'd give him the gold medal.

"Sport is not like that; sport is cruel. And suddenly this young guy Ross Murdoch just turns up and beats him and he just couldn't handle that.

''I guess we just have to wait and see what happens.''

There was disappointment for both Murdoch, 21, and Jamieson, 26, at April's British Swimming Championships in London, with the former third and the latter sixth in the 200m breaststroke final.

Murdoch did, however, make the GB team for next month's World Championships after finishing second to a world record time from Adam Peaty in the 100m event.

David Wilkie on his way to Olympic gold in 1976
David Wilkie on his way to Olympic gold in 1976

But Jamieson signalled a return to form by beating Murdoch to win the 200m title at last week's Scottish Championships.

''Michael, as I said, is a class swimmer but he needs to get things right if he's to make the [Olympic] team," added Wilkie, who won the 200m breaststroke Olympic gold at Montreal in 1976 in a world record time.

"Getting wins under his belt is one way of getting to Rio but he needs to start improving because there's a lot of competition out there."

Wilkie, 61, also picked up the 100m silver medal in 1976, adding to his 200m silver from the 1972 Games in Munich.

And he is backing Murdoch for further Scottish success on the highest stage.

He said: "I think Ross Murdoch will definitely make the team, but will he win a gold medal? It'll be tough but I think he has the potential to medal in Rio.''

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