Sunday, July 21, 2019

Olympic spot secured and 5th place finish for relay boys

The British quartet of Duncan Scott, James Guy, Ben Proud and Scott McLay set off to achieve one thing today, and that was a top 12 finish for the 4x100m freestyle relay at the FINA World Championships in Gwangju. And that they did in style, securing the second fastest qualifying time (3:12.42) for the final, which means TeamGB has a place in the event at next year’s Olympic Games.

The USA team of Caleb Dressel, Blake Pieroni, Zach Apple and Nathan Adrian, lived up to the ‘hot favourite’ label, winning gold in a new Championship Record time of 3:09.06. Russia chased them down all the way to the wall, but in the end had to settle for silver in a time of 3:09.97. Australia picked up bronze in 3:11.22.

With an identical line-up as this morning each of the GBR squad swam quicker than they had this morning finishing in 3.11.81, a British textile record and 5th overall.

Afterwards they commented; James Guy said:

“To go 47.7 again is pretty cool, it shows I’ve got plenty of speed which is a nice confidence boost for the meet. To come 5th in the final with these boys, considering it’s our first ever 4x100 free at a major meet, is amazing. Our main focus was top 12 and that Olympic spot next year so to come in 5th is a great swim by all of us.”

The rookie on the team, Scott McLay, said of his performance,

“As Jimmy said we’ve come here to get the top 12 place for the Olympics next year so the fact we came 5th; we had nothing to lose, we were in one of the best positions where we could just go out there give it our all and that’s exactly what we did. As a team I think it was an incredible performance.

“I’m very happy with my drop and being part of this group. I was going to leave everything in the water and that’s what I did. I couldn’t have gone any faster; I was completely dead in that last 10 metres and just had to hold on. I can’t put into words how delighted I am with myself and how delighted I am with this team.”

Duncan Scott said,

“Really good, I’m happy with my lead off. It was the first time posting a 47 outside Britain so that’s just a little boundary to get away.  It’s the start of the meet for me and to get top 12, job done this morning. We had nothing to lose tonight, we just wanted to get out there and better ourselves from this morning which we did. We can walk away proud of coming 5th in the world and we can move it on again next year.”

Asked about the potential of an Olympic medal in the event, Scott continued,

“I know a lot can change in a year. I think for just now we got to try look at what we did and see where we can go better. It might be a different team next year, it might be four different people, you just don’t know, and with it being an Olympic year next year things can change. First things first, we got the spot for the Olympics and it’s now dependent on how the team for that gets selected. Regardless of anything, it was a really good swim”

Ben Proud concluded,

“It was a relatively tough day. To do two 100s (Proud also was involved in the heats and semi final of the 50m butterfly for which he is defending champion) is not what I’ve been training for recently but to be part of this relay for GB was totally worth it.”

The action resumes at 10.00 local time (02.00 UK time) tomorrow - you can catch all the action live on FINA TV

Full results from the FINA World Aquatics Championships can be found here.

Highlights will be shown on the BBC Two as follows:

15.45 – 17.15: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
15:00 – 16:00: Saturday
15.30 – 17.00: Sunday

*highlights will also be available on the red button at select times.