Kirkcaldy's Kathleen in shape to make a splash in Tokyo
Lockdown proved to be a blessing in disguise for Kathleen Dawson, who believes she is much better placed to win a medal at Tokyo than she would have been last year.
The Kirkcaldy-born swimmer has had her selection for this summer’s Olympics confirmed as one of 24 swimmers added to Team GB by the British Olympic Association.
Her place on the team was confirmed by her superb performance at the British Swimming Olympic Trials, where she broke Scottish records in the 100m and 200m backstroke.
And having become the eighth fastest swimmer in history in the 100m in winning the first of two titles in London, Dawson feels the 12-month Covid-hiatus has worked in her favour.
“I’d say lockdown has definitely benefitted me in that, this position last year my last swim before Covid hit wouldn’t have been a podium potential swim,” she said.
“So I have definitely used lockdown to my full advantage and come out the other side with the potential to be able to get an individual medal.
“That’s all I’ve wanted, that’s all I’ve aspired to do [to win a medal] so it feels great that that’s very probable that I’ll be doing that. It gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”
Dawson is looking to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding in 1997.
She is one of more than 1,100 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing him/her to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support.
And Dawson was quick to pay tribute to surgeon Gordon Mackay, who she credits with saving her career after she suffered a ruptured ACL in 2018 that put her Olympic dream in doubt.
“Had it been just a regular ACL surgery where they take a part of your hamstring and thread that back through your knee, it’s definitely revolutionary what he’s done,” she said.
“I wouldn’t be back in the pool competing as quickly as I had if it had not been for that so I’m very grateful for him and he told me, ‘This is what I’m going to do’ and I said go for it.”
No one does more to support British Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £30 million each week for good causes.
Discover the positive impact playing The National Lottery has on sport at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #TracktoTokyo