OLYMPIC swimmer Ross Murdoch insists he is feeling in a good place for the months ahead as the Commonwealth Games countdown ramps up.

The Balloch-born Commonwealth champion heads to the Gold Coast in April with a title to defend, scooping the men’s 200m breaststroke gold medal four years ago in Glasgow.

Bronze in the 100m breaststroke also came Murdoch’s way and, with those memories still fresh, confidence is understandably high with fewer than 30 days to go until the Games.

Each race that comes his way therefore provides an opportunity to hone in on race skills, with the 24-year-old among those taking part at this year’s BUCS Nationals, in Sheffield.

“For me it’s all about getting to put in the fastest times possible, we aren’t able to compete in finals but it’s a strong field and there’s a lot of competition you’re up against,” he said at the event in Ponds Forge.

“But I’m feeling in a good place, I’m tightening up the screws and honing in on that preparation.

“I’ve got a title to defend which is always a challenge but an exciting one, I’ve got excellent memories from Glasgow 2014 and hopefully I can go out and make some more from the Gold Coast.

“It’s always special every time you represent your country, it doesn’t happen all too often so it’s about making the most of it when it does come around.”

Murdoch was one of 6,000 athletes that descended on Sheffield for three days of action-packed events at BUCS Nationals, returning for its sixth year.

He added: “BUCS Nationals is at the perfect part of the year for us, we’ve got a chance to have one of our last swims before the Commonwealths and it’s usually quite hard to find competitions on the long course.”

BUCS Nationals powered by Muhdo is the largest annual multi-sport event in the UK, bringing the best of Britain’s university athletes together to compete across eight different sports in Sheffield. More info at bucs.org.uk