Thursday, April 20, 2017

Scott retains freestyle crown with new British Record

"I’ve never had automatic qualification before for a GBR team. The qualifying times are tough, but we all just need to step up to the mark.” Duncan Scott

Day three of the British Swimming Championships from Ponds Forge in Sheffield showcased the depth of swimming talent in the UK with two British Records including a superb display from University of Stirling’s Duncan Scott.

Scott (19) produced an outstanding swim in the 100m freestyle final, breaking the British Record he set at the Rio Olympics, with 47.90 and securing automatic qualification to the GBR team heading to Budapest this summer for the FINA World Championships. He said:

“To post a PB so early on in the season is good. After the heats I thought there was potential for a PB, but you can never be sure until you touch the wall.

“I’m obviously delighted with a British Record.  It’s an event in the UK that’s been lacking in previous years, but good to see others coming through now and great to share the podium with two other Scots.”

On securing automatic qualification to Budapest, Scott continued:

“I’ve not thought about Budapest, it’s all been about the Trials. And it’s still all about the Trials as I’ve plenty more racing to come.

"It’s always a pleasure to represent your country and I’ve never had automatic qualification before for a GBR team. The qualifying times are tough, but we all just need to step up to the mark.”

On hearing that his time puts him number one in the world this year for the event, he continued:

“Being number one in the world doesn’t really mean anything. There have been guys going into major events ranked 10 in the world who come away with gold, so I’m in no position to stake any claims for medals in Budapest.”

Edinburgh University’s Jack Thorpe and Kieran McGuckin made up the Scotland 1-2-3 with silver and bronze medals in 49.65 and 49.68 respectively.

Florida based Mark Szaranek (Edinburgh University) secured his Gold Coast consideration time in the 400m IM, an event that was won by Olympian Max Litchfield in a new British Record time of 4:10.63. Szaranek held his nerve in the early stages, coming through the field during the breaststroke leg to touch home for the silver medal in 4:15.51. Joe Litchfield won bronze in 4:19.18.

After the final Szaranek said:

“My target was to get the Commonwealth Games consideration time.  After the disappointment of a few years ago when I didn’t make the team for Glasgow, I just wanted to make sure I got a consideration time as early on as possible.

“I’ve adapted to the training in Florida. I struggled at first but it’s all good now and I’ve swum best times all year. The transition from yards to long course can be difficult and while we do train long course as much as yards I am looking to get more race experience in long course. Now I’ve put my name in the running for Gold Coast I want to give myself the best preparation I can to perform.”

Callum Lawrie (University of Stirling) won the Target Tokyo final for the 400m IM in 4:24.28.

Earlier in the evening Stephen Milne won bronze in the 1500m final in 15:14.26, while Lucy Hope (Edinburgh University) also won bronze for the 50m freestyle with 25.42. Katie Stark (Aberdeen Performance) improved on the Scottish National Age Group record (18yrs) she set in the heats finishing 5th in 25.61 (50m free).

Keanna MacInnes (Hearts) swam a superb 200m fly final posting a PB of 2:11.48 for 4th while Hannah Miley (Garioch) finished 5th in 2:12.06.

Full results from the Championships can be found here