DUNCAN Scott has already had a year to remember, but the Alloa swimmer isn’t about to take his foot off the pedal with the Youth Olympic Games fast approaching.
Scott was one of the stars that helped make Glasgow 2014 the most successful yet for the home nation, helping the 4x200m freestyle team take silver behind Australia.
And it took an almighty effort for the Aussies to get one over Scotland’s boys, the quartet from Down Under having to pull off a new Commonwealth Games record to climb to the top step of the podium.
However the 17-year-old didn’t have time to pop the champagne corks after being selected on Team GB’s 33-strong squad heading to Nanjing for the Youth Olympic Games, with the competition getting underway on Saturday.
It is not the first time Scott will have swapped Scotland colours for Team GB’s, having left last year’s European Youth Olympic Festival in the Netherlands with a gold and silver medal for his efforts.
And despite having shined this summer, the Strathallan School pupil is adamant he is far from done just yet.
“Last year was a good year and my coach and I sat down and we said, ‘right more of the same this year’,” Scott said. “This year is looking like being the best year of my career.
“Last year I went to the European Youth Olympics and got gold in the 200m individual medley (IM) and silver in the 400m IM. It was a huge achievement for me; it was my first multi-sport event.
“I’d like to say it will help prepare me for Nanjing but it is such a big jump from Europeans to the Youth Olympics which is a worldwide event. Hopefully it will be able to help me a tiny bit.
“I’m really excited, it should be really good fun. I am looking to swim well, this will be my third and last big competition of the year so it will be good to go out on a high.
“I am not really bothered about pressure to be honest. I don’t put much pressure on myself; I am just going to enjoy it. Just like the Commonwealth Games, when I was around guys like Michael Jamieson and Robbie Renwick, I just want to enjoy it again.”
With the Commonwealth Games to focus on this year, Scott could be excused for putting the Youth Olympic Games on the backburner.
But despite his selection coming somewhat as a surprise with the news arriving as he was winning three medals at the European Junior Championships in the Netherlands, Scott is setting his sights on the podium in the Far East.
“I found out I had made the team via Twitter actually,” he added. “I got a notification as there was a picture announcement of all the swimming boys that had made the team. I was out at the European Juniors at the time with the three other guys that made the team so we had a bit of a celebration.
“I had a good European Junior competition; I won a gold in the 4x100m relay and bronze in the 4x200m freestyle as well as 200m individual gold.
“It’s a good confidence boost going into Nanjing and doing the same. That is always the aim, reaching the podium and this time it is no different.”
lThe British Olympic Association prepares and leads British athletes at the summer, winter and youth Olympic Games. It works in partnership with sport National Governing Bodies to enhance Olympic success and is responsible for championing the Olympic Values. www.teamgb.com.