Double Scottish titles for island swimming sucess Kara Hanlon

Kara shows off her newly received gongs. SGD26162
Kara shows off her newly received gongs. SGD26162

The Hanlon family mantlepiece in Stornoway must close to splitting now with the ever-growing haul of swimming honours being won by 16-year-old Kara.

After all the Stornoway swim sensation was already Scottish Junior long course champion for both 100m and 50m breast stroke after clinching both prestigious crowns in the summer.

But now Kara has completed the set by blazing a trail through the rest of her junior rivals at the Scottish Short Course Championships in Edinburgh where she picked up the national title for both 100m and 50m breast stroke (short course).

The latest honours come hot on the heels of yet more success for the talented teen who was also part of the Junior Scottish Select Relay which set a new junior record – shaving a huge four seconds off the previous record.

And inbetween her national triumphs Kara has been competing closer to home in the Highlands where she has successfully managed to trim her breast stroke personal bests down by an astonishing three seconds.

It has been a phenomenal rise in the three-short years in which Kara has taken up competitive swimming. Her early times for 100m and 200m breast stroke respectively began at the more modest 1:25 and 3:07 to the now national elite times of 1:10 and 2:33.

Her times are so good she has risen to the lofty ranks of seventh in the country and she is eyeing a late dash into the Commonwealth Games reckoning.

“The top three times qualify for the Games and while they are very quick I hope I can achieve them,” explained Kara.

“Especially the 50m which I feel is probably the most achievable for me. It would be amazing to qualify and I will work as hard as possible to do it but if I don’t make it I’ll know I’ve given my all to get there.”

Kara’s dedication to her sport is clear as she juggles the busy life of a teenager with her training and her higher prelims.

“It is hard work but it is something I really enjoy,” added Kara.

“It will be three years in January since I started training with DR and I have come so far but I’ll keep working as hard as possible to get even better.

“I would like to thank the Sports Council and sport centre staff and management for their continued support. And also a thank you to DR Morrison and Euan Macleod.”