Sunday, April 8, 2018

Historic fifth medal for Scott

With two days of the swimming competition still to play out, Duncan Scott will leave Gold Coast as Scotland’s most successful athlete, across all sports, at a single Commonwealth Games.

The 20 year old University of Stirling athlete picked up two more medals to the three he already has with a historic gold in the 100m freestyle and bronze in the 4x200m freestyle relay.

In a freestyle final that included Olympic Champion Kyle Chalmers of Australia and multi Commonwealth Games medallist, Chad le Clos of South Africa, Scott showed no fear and even turning in 6th position with 50m to go, looked confident as he picked off his opponents one by one, timing his charge to perfection in what turned out to be a thrilling race.

Taking the touch in 48.02 Scott raised his hand in victory towards the jubilant Scots in the crowd. Chalmers and le Clos couldn’t be separated and they both finished in 48.15 to pick up the silver medal. After the race an ecstatic Scott said:

“I think some people might have thought that a faster time would have been needed to win that event, but for me it was all about just getting in and racing, that’s what I love to do.

“I just wanted to try and beat the boys either side of me, I wasn’t worrying about the race on the other side of the pool. I came in and just wanted to execute my own race. I imagine that there were eight different race plans going on there.

“It’s an event where everyone swims it completely differently. There are boys there who are incredibly fast over the first 50 and others who have a strong back end. I just had to stick to what I’m good at and that’s bringing it home. I’m absolutely delighted.”

The finale of the night was the 4x200m freestyle and Scott lined up alongside Stephen Milne, Dan Wallace and Mark Szaranek. In what was another fantastic night for the home side, Australia dominated and brought the house down winning gold in a new Games Record time of 7:05.97, while the team from England won silver in 7:08.57. Scotland fought hard and won a superb bronze medal in 7:09.89.

Leadoff man for the relay, Stephen Milne (Perth City) said:

“Wow that was an exciting race. Australia and England were really strong and we put up a good fight. I am delighted to have come away with another medal in the pool for Scotland.”

Dan Wallace (Edinburgh University) agreed and also commented. He said:

“It was great to be out there again in that event swimming for Team Scotland. I was delighted to be part of the race and win another medal in that event.”

Anchorman and silver medalist from the 400m IM earlier in the meet, Mark Szaranek (Edinburgh University), said:

“The mood in the camp is great and it was brilliant to see Duncan pick up the first gold from the pool for Scotland. The team is swimming great. That was my first time on the relay on such a big stage and it was really special. The crowd is great and the Team Scotland support has been amazing.”

But the final word of the night went to Duncan himself, he said of his achievements,

“I’ve not given any thought to my own medal count. That’s the second medal I’ve picked up in relay events so my medal tally wouldn’t be what it is without the support of a number of other athletes. You don’t win a relay on your own.

“The relay depth we have in Scotland at the moment is unbelievable. There are guys who have been left off the team that could have quite easily stepped in and done the job tonight, likewise in the 4x100 free. It’s really positive for Scotland that this is happening and we are medalling in relay events.

“There are a lot more events to come. It’s been a great day in the pool and I think we can carry that momentum on and challenge for more medals in the final two days.”

Hannah Miley was pushed off the pace in the final of the 200m IM. The Inverurie athlete finished 6th in a final which was dominated by Siobhan-Marie O’Connor (ENG). The Olympic silver medalist for the event won gold in 2:09.80 with Sarah Darcel and Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson (both CAN) won silver and bronze respectively.

Toni Shaw looked delighted to have smashed her own Scottish Record in the S9 100m freestyle. Touching home in 1:04.19 Shaw swam a controlled race to finish 5th.

Craig McNally finished 7th in the 50m backstroke final.

Sean Campsie finished his 100m butterfly semi-final joint 4th with Jacob Peters (ENG) and had an agonizing wait to see if there would be another Scotland versus England swim-off for a place in the final. Fortunately, for both athletes, the pace of the second semi-final was slower and Campsie was confirmed for tomorrow’s final.

In other events Euan Inglis progressed to the final of the 50m breaststroke, while Craig Benson and Mark Campbell finished 9th and 11th respectively.

Edinburgh University team-mates Lucy Hope and Corrie Scott finished 10th and 12th for 100m freestyle and 100m breaststroke respectively. Scottish swimmers competing in the heats on the penultimate day of the swimming competition are Craig McNally, Stephen Milne (200m backstroke); Kathleen Dawson, Cassie Wild, Lucy Hope (50m backstroke); Scott McLay, Jack Thorpe, Kieran McGuckin (50m freestyle); Toni Shaw (SB9 100m breaststroke); Keanna MacInnes, Hannah Miley (200m butterfly).