Sunday, April 21, 2019

Flying Scott finishes off British Championships in style

Duncan Scott rounded off an excellent week’s racing with victory in the 200m freestyle final in a time of 1:45.63, which secures him automatic qualification for the event at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju in July.

In a hotly anticipated final Scott lined up alongside a number of GBR team-mates, including James Guy, Tom Dean and Calum Jarvis, who as a 4x200m freestyle team had won gold at last year’s European Championships in Glasgow.

James Guy (Bath NC) had the edge at the 50m mark but at the half way stage, Scott had taken a narrow lead. For the next 50m both Guy and Scott kept an eye on each other, breathing in towards the lane that separated them, and despite a strong final charge from Guy, Scott touched home first in 1:45.63, with Guy taking silver in 1:46.34. Tom Dean (Bath NC) secured bronze in 1:46.86.

With another automatic selection time in the bag, Scott spoke of his performance and said,

“Initially I was a bit disappointed. It’s faster than I was two years ago for Trials so I guess I need to look at it like that. It’s probably just the expectations I set myself that made me initially disappointed, and I’m only 0.3 slower then I went in the European final and it was my tenth race.”

Speaking about the fact it was his tenth race, Scott said,

“It was tough this morning. It was slower to make the final than most people anticipated. There were quite a few tired guys out there this morning but you had to still be on it. Once you’re in the final its fine, but that was a hard swim.”

Talking about his performances over the week, Scott finished by saying,

“It’s been a good strong week. I was disappointed with my first event, the 200 fly. It was the second fastest time I’ve ever been but I feel there’s a lot more to give there and I’m not sure when I’ll next do that event.

“But in total it’s been a really solid meet for me. I’ve made big PBs across events, in the 100 fly, 100 free and I was close there in the 200 free. I think I’ve done enough to make the team!”

Craig McNally made a welcome return to the podium, winning silver in the 200m backstroke final. Gold went to Luke Greenbank (Loughborough NC) in a World Championships consideration time of 1:55.89. McNally (University of Stirling) finished in 1:58.89, while Jay Lelliott of Sheffield picked up bronze in 1:59.64.

Afterwards McNally said of his performance,

“It was OK.  I went in, tried to enjoy it and give it my best and that’s what I did. Obviously I wanted to be a bit faster than that. I thought there was more in the tank, but I seized up a bit, not so much from dying but I felt the second 50 was a bit soft and that kind of made me seize up a bit and I found it quite hard to get back into a race after that.”

Speaking of his overall performances this week, McNally said,

“I’m bit off the times I wanted to be or rather felt I could be for this meet, which were around the times to make the Worlds. I’m off that, but it has given me confidence for next year and that’s my main target. “

Tain Bruce (Edinburgh University) finished sixth (59.49) in the 100m butterfly final but was taking a number of positives from her performance this evening. She said,

“It was a little bit tough. I think I stuck to my race plan. I corrected the things I wanted to correct from this morning but it’s been a tough meet and the racing and the racing has been hard.”

There was another strong performance by Scott McLay, this time in the 50m butterfly. The 19-year old University of Stirling athlete touched home in 24.05 (4th), to equal the Scottish Record set by Todd Cooper during the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006.

The final was won by World & European Champion, Ben Proud, in 23.25 with Lewis Fraser and Jacob Peters taking silver and bronze in 23.98 and 24.03 respectively.

 Afterwards McLay said of his week,

“I couldn’t have asked for a better Trials than this.  At the start I was just focussing on the stuff I needed to focus on, but I also wanted to enjoy it as well, which is exactly what I did.”

With the GBR team for the World Championships due to be announced on Wednesday, McLay said of his prospects,

“I’m definitely excited to see if I get picked or not. If I do I’ll have reached one of my targets that I put down at the beginning of the season and I’ll be thrilled with that. But if not I’ll just take the great swims I’ve had, move on and see what else I can do further on in the summer.”

Full results can be found HERE

The British Swimming Championships are being held at Tollcross International Swimming Centre from 16 to 21 April 2019.