Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Relay boys power to Olympic gold

Duncan Scott anchored home Britain’s relay team to a superb gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle, taking Britain’s medal tally in the pool to three golds and one silver.

The quartet of Tom Dean, James Guy, Matt Richards and Duncan Scott showed their class across all four legs. Olympic Champion in the individual event, Tom Dean, led off with a solid opening leg and handed over to Bath team-mate, James Guy. Guy showed his experience and determination and made up team USA’s early advantage, before handing over to 18 year old Matt Richards.

Richards raced hard and showed great composure in his leg before handing over to Duncan Scott with a healthy lead. Scott who trains at the University of Stirling, swam away from the rest of the field, and powered the team home to victory in a time of 6:58.58, a European Record and just 0.03 off the World Record.

The team representing the Russian Olympic Committee won silver in 7:01.81 with Australia taking the bronze in 7:01.84. And for the first time in the event, the USA team missed out on a medal.

Afterwards, the boys reacted as follows,

Tom Dean: “I can’t put it into words, I couldn’t last night and I can’t now. I can’t thank these boys enough from the bottom of my heart, it is unreal.”

James Guy: “The way the last year has been and as a kid, winning an Olympic gold medal was my absolute dream and to do it finally after 25 years, it’s pretty emotional.

With these lads here you’ve got the best freestylers in the world. My team-mate from Bath, Tom, and Duncan getting 1st and 2nd in the event yesterday was amazing.  To think how things have progressed since Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Rio, and now we are Olympic Champions, it is a dream come true.

Matt Richards: “When you are racing with guys like this, having a great leg comes easier, as they’ve set you up as well as they did. And then you’ve literally got one of the best freestylers in the world, one of the best freestylers ever going straight in behind you, the privilege and confidence it gives someone, money can’t buy that.”

Duncan Scott: “Myself and Jimmy in particular, we’ve been on so many 4x2s together and we’ve been able to win Worlds, Europeans, and in 2016 we came 2nd, which was a monster achievement at the time. But here, it’s really special with these boys. Matt in 3rd was so composed and the boys up front executed their race plans really well. We were so close to the world record at the end, if anything, I’m a bit gutted!"

The boys ended the interview by paying tribute to team-mate Calum Jarvis, who swam so well in the heats.

Earlier in the evening, Ross Murdoch missed out on a place in the 200m breaststroke final. Racing in the first of the semi-finals from lane 8, Murdoch finished in a time of 2:09.97 to finish 12th overall for the event. Afterwards he paid tribute to those who had supported him and said,

“I’ve swam quite well throughout the year so I wouldn’t say the year’s delay hasn’t worked in my favour. At the end of the day I wouldn’t change my journey for the world. It’s been such a mad ride since I moved to Stirling in 2012. It’s almost 10 years to the day that I started taking swimming seriously.

“I just want to say thanks to all the guys at West Dunbartonshire, to Jimmy Orr who helped me start this mission, my family who are probably all watching just now and my girlfriend. Massive thanks to everyone who has been here with me on the journey, and we just keep going.”

When asked if he was thinking about hanging up his goggles, Murdoch said,

“I would never describe it that way, swimming is a hobby so it’s not like you’re retiring from something. There’s a Commonwealth Games coming up next year and probably my last opportunity to represent Scotland so let’s see it out, the way I do best.”

The schedule and results for the swimming meet can be found HERE.

Finals begin at 2.30am GMT.

Heats begin at 11am GMT.

If you are inspired by the performances of our athletes in Tokyo please visit our Inspired to Try microsite to find a club near you, and get involved.