Duns swimmer clinches Commonwealth Games place

Dan Wallace swimming for Florida Gators
Dan Wallace swimming for Florida Gators

Former Duns swimmer Dan Wallace will be going for gold at the Commonwealth Games after qualifying in two medleys and the 400m freestyle.

After four days of Games trials at the Scottish Gas National Championships at Tollcross International Centre in Glasgow, the youngster, who turned 21 this week, was able to celebrate clinching his place in Glasgow.

The qualifiers saw just the top three finishers in each discipline rewarded with a place in the Scotland team at this year’s home games.

In his final race, the 400m individual medley, he was just edged out for the gold by 2010 Commonwealth Games swimmer Lewis Smith.

But Wallace was delighted to earn his place with a time of 4:16.40.

“The pressure was on because I am not staying on for the British Championships this week,” said Wallace, who trains in the USA, after winning a swimming scholarship at the prestigious University of Florida.

“There is a little extra pressure, but that’s what I enjoy.”

Wallace flew in specially for the qualifiers, and was cheered on through his races by his family, including his father Derek who also officiated during the event.

“Now I’m looking forward to getting back to the States and working towards the Glasgow Games,” said Wallace.

Wallace set a Scottish record in the 400m individual medley at last year’s World Championships in Barcelona, which was also his Team GB debut.

Now he aims to do the same for Team Scotland in three months’ time.

“It’s so good to be back in Scotland,” he said before the trials, “There’s such a buzz about the Games. Everybody is talking about it and everybody wants to be there.”

Dan started in the water at Duns Swimming Club, under the eye of coach Joyce Waddell.

In Florida the former Chirnside Primary School pupil has trained with the USA’s 2012 Olympic coach, Gregg Troy.

He has also undergone intense training camps with members of the American military, all in the hope of following in the footsteps of another Berwickshire swimmer, Euan Dale, who took silver at the Melbourne Games.