Saturday, April 20, 2019

Scott shows class in medley final

Duncan Scott brought the house down again at the British Swimming Championships with a superb performance in the 200m IM, which saw him smash the Scottish Record and secure automatic qualification to the event at  the World Championships in Gwangju in July.

The 21-year old University of Stirling athlete was lying in second place at the 100m mark, but a strong breaststroke leg saw him take the lead and with only the 50m free to go, there was no stopping him. Scott, who won silver in the event at last year's Commonwealth Games, touched home in 1:56.65 a new Scottish Record and just 0.01 off the British Record, but most important of all, his time bettered the automatic qualifying standard for Gwangju.

Tom Dean (Bath NC) finished in 1:58.89 for silver while Joe Litchfield (Loughborough NC) won bronze in 1:59.50. Mark Szaranek (Carnegie) and Callum Lawrie (University of Stirling) finished 4th and 7th respectively.

After the race, Scott spoke of his performance; he said,

“While I was really happy with my Commonwealth Games 200 IM I was pretty disappointed with my time, I knew there was more there. That’s a big step in the right direction with over a second PB so it’s really good that I’ve been able to move that on. I feel that sort of time has been in there for a while, it was just about getting it out and I’m really happy with that.

“I swam the race a bit differently. There was less intensity on the backstroke which allowed me to have an extra gear in the breaststroke.”

Speaking about improvements in his breaststroke, Scott continued,

“I’m fortunate enough to have world class breaststrokers around day in day out and I get to see what they do, the little things they break down, whether the pull outs or the kick or just the pull analysis. Ross (Murdoch) and Craig (Benson) are wonderful technicians of breaststroke so it’s amazing to see what they do. “

Scott’s back for the final day to contest the 200m freestyle, about which he said,

“I still have one more day of this meet to go and tomorrow’s going to be a really hard one. There’s Deano, Max and Mark who just swam there; they’re in the 200 free tomorrow, then there’s Jimmy (James Guy). I could just keep listing names. These are Olympics and World Medallists and it’s going to be tough to make it back. I really need to be on it tomorrow morning.”

In the 200m IM transition final, both Charlie Hutchison (Ellesmere) and Archie Goodburn (Warrender) posted World/Euro qualifying times.

In the women’s 200m IM, Hannah Miley finished 4th in 2:13.91, while Katie Shanahan broke the British Age Group Record (14 years) and Scottish Junior Record, on her way to winning the transition final, coming home in a time of 2:15.29.

Cassie Wild took the bronze medal in a closely fought 50m backstroke, which saw the 2018 European Champion, Georgia Davies (Loughborough Uni) take the title in 28.10. Lauren Cox (City of Coventry) was second in 28.20, while Wild held of the challenge of University of Stirling team-mate, Kathleen Dawson, to secure bronze in 28.43. Dawson finished fourth in 28.47 while Lucy Hope, Edinburgh University, finished in 29.05 for 8th.

Wild said of her performance,

“I’m happier with that than I was the 100, but I was kind of hoping to go a little bit quicker, but it was faster than this morning.

“I’m only 0.3 off my PB and I’m happy to get on the podium. I was expecting to podium on the 100 and didn’t, so it’s nice to be up there and end my meet on a high.”

Jack Thorpe also secured a bronze medal in another hotly contested 50m freestyle final, which was won by Commonwealth and European Champion, Ben Proud (Plymouth Leander) in a World Championships consideration time of 21.50. David Cumberlidge took silver in 22.09, ahead of his Edinburgh University team-mate, Jack Thorpe, who won bronze in 22.49. Scott McLay (University of Stirling) finished 6th in 22.64.

Thorpe commented on his race; he said,

“It was a good race. My dive was decent and I got into my stroke. It was just a dog-fight in the end and it was super close.

“Going into any race it’s natural to look at your peers, your competitors and I was fortunate enough to be in a lane across (from Ben Proud), so I wasn’t right there. You try and not let these things affect you. If you let them sneak into your mind it can affect your whole race.  There’s still a lot to come from my dive, technical things like that, and for a 50 everything is really focussed on and critiqued because it’s such a short space of time.”

Full results can be found HERE

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