Strathallan School’s Duncan Scott went to the European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht this summer aiming to get some tough racing against top-class opposition.
He came home having proved he is ready to mix it with the best. The 16-year-old won the individual 200m individual medley and took silver in the 400m event.
He also bagged medals for Team GB in the 4 x 100m boys and mixed relays.
Four events and four medals – a handsome haul and a wonderful boost as the youngster contemplates the possibility of making Scotland’s Commonwealth Games team in Glasgow next year.
As the prefect follow-up to the Dutch trip, Scott won six titles in his age-group at the British Gas ASA National Youth Championships in Sheffield – the two medleys, the 100m and 200m butterfly and the 50m and 200m freestyle.
“The Youth Olympics went better than I expected,” he said. “I really did just go there looking to get some international experience. I took a good break after Sheffield but had my first session back in the pool on Friday. It was just like every first session, really weird.”
Having passed nine GCSE exams, Scott will be taking his Highers over two years at Strathallan and that will fit in perfectly with his swimming ambitions.
“I’m aiming for the Commonwealth Games and I’ll now be sitting down with my two coaches – Steven Tigg at FIRST and Elaine Johnston at Strathallan – to work out the plan,” said the swimming scholarship student who is a boarder at Strathallan. “Everyone at the school has been great. The Commonwealth trials are next April and in addition to the individual events there will be a lot of places in the relays.”
This week, another couple of promising Scots are in action for Team GB at the World Junior Championships in Dubai: Charlotte McKenzie (Larbert High School) and Mark Szaramnek, who left Auchmuty High School this summer. McKenzie was the first in action and made it through to tonight’s final of the 100m backstroke, when she was sixth fastest in 1:01.78.