“This is also the reason why Scottish Swimming is really on the up just now including the fact their men’s team could probably beat the English men’s team at present”.
OK, so it probably was a flippant comment on the swimclub forums, but it got us thinking. So we decided to find out, after all the general standard of Scottish swimming has undoubtedly improved over the past few years, but how would they fare against the Auld Enemy?
A dual meet, across a full FINA world championship programme, using currently available rankings (to June 2001) from the ASA and SwimScotland web sites to determine the results of each event. Relay times were calculated from the top 4 swimmer’s times, with an allowance of 1.5s for takeovers, in line with ASA selectiuon criteria. 10 points for a win and 5 points for second. Results for the races are shown below.
England: 180 points
Scotland: 120 points
The scoring system may make the result seem closer than it really is, with England winning 16 of the 20 events, but there would undoubtedly have been some extremely close racing in many of the events. What is noticeable, however, is the reliance of both teams, but particularly Scotland, on a small number of swimmers to cover a large number of events. Evidently in reality it would be foolhardy to expect Graeme Smith, for example, to swim quite so many events at his best, but this would probably have had little effect on the final outcome. One should also remember that this is a purely academic exercise and you can never discount swimmers producing personal bests to upset the form book. After all its only a bit of fun, the real test will come in Manchester next year!
England (Kidd, Palmer, Belk Scotcher)
Scotland (Leith,Hall,Carry, Edmond)
England (Ruckwood, Mew, Hickman, Kidd)
Scotland (Tait,Edmond,Cooper, Leith)
England (Palmer, Belk, Sinclair, Salter)
Scotland (Leith, Smith, Hay, Jameson)