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July 29, 2017

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Murdoch stuns Jamieson to take 200m breaststroke gold

GLASGOW -- Ross Murdoch broke the Commonwealth Games record for the second time in a day to deny hot favorite Michael Jamieson as Scotland claimed gold and silver in the men's 200m breaststroke on Thursday.

Murdoch finished nearly a second ahead of his teammate in a time of 2 minutes 07.30 seconds, whilst Andrew Willis took the bronze for England.

Glasgow-born Jamieson had been one of the mot prominent athletes in the build-up to the Games having won silver in the same event at the 2012 London Olympics.

However, just as in the morning heat, he had no answer for Murdoch's kick in the final 50 meters as the 20-year-old broke clear to claim Scotland's second swimming gold medal of the evening after Hannah Miley retained her Commonwealth title in the 400m individual medley.

"I am lost for words. I never thought that would become a reality," said Murdoch.

"It was always a dream of mine to come out to a home crowd and perform my best, but it is something I can't explain. In that last 50 meters to have that many people cheering you on it is something I will remember for the rest of my life.

"It meant the world to me and I just can't believe it has happened."

For Jamieson a silver medal was scant consolation after losing out on the biggest prize in a race he had described for months as the biggest of his career to date.

"I'm obviously gutted. I didn't train for second place. I came here to win," he said.

"I am a sponsored athlete, I am associated with some of the biggest companies around, but Ross deserves to win tonight. He has been swimming world class times all season."

Jamieson admitted after his morning swim in the heats that he had felt nervous given the burden of expectation in recent days and he believes that was a contributing factor in him going slower than the time he swam at the Scottish nationals in the same pool just three months ago.

"I think probably I was swimming with too much emotion. I got too uptight in the last few days and just forgetting that it is just another race in a pool that I swam in for years.

"It was the biggest race of my life, but I think if I was going to swim well tonight I had to get over that and stay as relaxed as possible and I just wasn't able to do that."

Murdoch, meanwhile, won't have much time to bask in his glorious night as he has three more events to come in the next five days, starting with the 100m breaststroke heats on Friday morning.

"It has given me a lot of confidence for the rest of the week. I can't think too much about the victory tonight, it is about the week as a whole so I have to get myself swam down and prepare for the 100m breaststroke tomorrow morning."

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