Sunday, July 28, 2019

Flying Scott anchors home GBR team for medley gold

The GBR quartet of Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Duncan Scott made history tonight, winning gold in the 4x100m medley relay on the final night of the FINA World Championships in Gwangju.

Lining up alongside the team from USA, who incidentally have only been beaten once in this event at either a World Championships or Olympic Games, the boys all had a part to play if they wanted to get in amongst the medals.

While Greenbank didn’t have the best start he put in a solid swim before handing over to World Champion and World Record holder, Adam Peaty, who powered his way through the field, before handing over to James Guy. Guy went head to head with Caleb Dressel, holding his own with the American, before handing over to Duncan Scott.

Scott was patient and with 50m to go, was 0.84 behind the leaders. The race however was far from finished.  Scott powered his way down the final length of the pool gaining ground on the Americans and Russians with every stroke. The University of Stirling student took the touch in 3:28.10, a new European Record. Scott’s individual split was 46.14, the second fastest in history.

The US won silver in 3:28.45 while the Russians came home for bronze in 3:28.81.

Speaking afterwards leadoff man, Greenbank, said:

“I just wanted to try and put the boys in the best possible position and I knew if I could get there within Peaty range he’d be able to pull it back and he did an amazing job.”

Peaty said:

“I had a terrible takeover with a stray arm but once in the water I just had to chase the American down. We came in as underdogs but each one of us contributed to that. I thought when Duncan dived in ‘we’re going to get bronze’. With 25m to go I was jumping up and down like never before and the last 10 metres he just got his head down and took him out.”

Guy added:

“I knew Adam would do a massive job for us and Luke did an amazing job as well, so there was pressure as we were all in a line together and it was a very close race. I know my back end, when I’m on form, is really good and if I could get there close to Dressel we’d have a good chance of medalling.”

Such was the magnitude of their achievement, the quartet were invited to a press conference, where Scott was asked about his staggering anchor leg split, responding:

“When you get to this level, times well, they’re not irrelevant, but it just comes down to racing. The boys put me in an incredible position and I just had to try and execute a good race plan. I can’t say I thought I had that split in me and I’m sort of speechless.”

James Wilby, having swum in the heats, will also collect a gold medal.

GBR finished the swimming meet with seven medals.