Rachel Masson from Balmoral secured her first medal at the British Championships this week in the women’s 50m Freestyle.
Qualification to this level of competition is fierce and as this meet doubled as the selection for the Olympic Games to be held later this year in Rio, competition was even tougher. Rachel made her debut at this level just last year narrowly missing out on a final despite swimming a lifetime best, however, this year was determined to go one better and make the final. “I qualified in two events this year, one more than last and had the confidence and experience from last year to help me prepare for what to expect”.
What she didn’t expect however was to win a medal in her first national final. Qualifying in seventh place she had secured that all important lane for the final and with only eight qualifiers found herself on the outside of the field. After a poor start she quickly gained her rhythm and powered through the field to touch in 25.58’seconds just 0.1’seconds outside her lifetime best (achieved just last month).
Rachel’s coach Gary Paterson commented “Rachel has had an easy journey to this point but has demonstrated the necessary attributes to fulfil her potential. Exactly what that is I have no idea, but I do know you must be resilient, focussed and extremely hard working in order to achieve it and Rachel has proven she has all three in abundance”.
Rachel trains as part of the South Aberdeenshire Swimming programme covering Aboyne, Stonehaven, Banchory and Westhill.