Thursday, April 18, 2019

British Record for Scott in freestyle masterclass

A great night at the British Swimming Championships saw three athletes secure automatic qualification to the forthcoming FINA World Championships in South Korea, including Duncan Scott, who not only secured his place on the team, but broke his own British Record for 100m freestyle in the process.

University of Stirling athlete, Duncan Scott, was the hot favourite for the 100m freestyle title. In what was the final race of the night, Scott lined up alongside team-mates Scott McLay and Craig McLean and fellow Team Scotland medallist, Jack Thorpe (Edinburgh University).

Scott dominated from the start and powered home to victory in 47.87, improving his own British Record set at this event two years previous. McLay won silver in 49.05 while David Cumberlidge (Edinburgh University) put pay to a Scottish 1-2-3. He secured bronze in 49.11, ahead of team-mate Jack Thorpe (49.54) and Stirling’s Craig McLean (49.89).

With automatic qualification to the World Championships in Gwangju, Scott was pleased with his performance and said,

“It was good to move my PB on from 2 years ago and it’s great to break 48 flat again. It’s the second time I’ve done that and I’m happy with that.

“Automatic qualification is a weight off my shoulders. Trials are always quite tough - the second you finish you know if it’s good enough or not. There’s no hanging around wondering if you’ve made the team, you know the second you’re done. So it is good to get it out the way after my second day of racing and then move on tomorrow and the next couple of days.”

Speaking about the continued work needed to be in contention at the world championships, Scott continued,

“Now it’s about doing that sort of time on an international scene consistently, because 47 mid to low could medal. There are more areas to look to improve on but it is a step in the right direction. I want to be competitive on the world stage. There are still a number of areas for me to improve on. That time along is not going to medal at a world championships so there’s definitely a couple more steps that need to be taken, but it is moving forward.”

Scott McLay also spoke of his progress in the event and said,

“I had Duncan on my left hand side so I knew if I stuck with him on the back end, he would push me on.

“I enjoyed a great year last year at the Commonwealth Games; that was great experience but I want to be back on that international level and get myself on teams to get more experience.”

Max Litchfield also secured his place on the GBR team for the World’s with a dominant performance in the 400m IM finals. The Loughborough National Centre athlete powered home in 4:10.94 for the title, with Carnegie’s Mark Szaranek winning silver in 4:16.28. Brodie Williams of Millfield won bronze in 4:17.22. Callum Lawrie (University of Stirling) was 7th in 4:24.27.

Despite being off the mark and off his best, Szaranek was looking ahead to the rest of the meet and said,

“I’m obviously a little disappointed; it’s slower than I would have liked. I would have liked to have qualified for the World Championships on the first attempt this week but I’ve two more shots in events I’m leaning more towards these days, the 200 IM and 200 freestyle so I’m looking forward to those.”

Scottish athlete Charlie Hutchison (Ellesmere) finished 5th in the same event posting a personal best time of 4:19.34, way inside the consideration time for the World/European Junior Championships. He said of his race,

“That was a good race. I came in hoping to make this final and I did that this morning. I was next to Brodie (Williams) who’s a good friend so I knew it was going to be a good race.

“I saw Brodie next to me, he swims the race similar to me, so I wanted to stay with him, but he broke me in the backstroke. I always saw his feet though so I was after them the whole way.

“I’m now just looking forward to racing the best in Europe or wherever. I love racing and I can’t wait to see what else I can do.”

The first race of the night saw Daniel Jervis (Swansea) post the 2nd fastest British time ever for 1500m. He took victory in 14:46.51, securing his place on the flight to South Korea in July.

Other Scottish Open finalists this evening were Rachel Masson (Edinburgh University)-50m freestyle and Hannah Miley (University of Aberdeen Performance Swim Team)-200m butterfly.

Full results can be found HERE

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