Duncan Scott shrugs off 200m woes to reach 100m final

Duncan Scott put the '¨disappointment of finishing fourth in the 200m freestyle to one side to safely progress to the 100m freestyle final at the World Championships in Budapest last night.

Duncan Scott reacts after his 100m freestyle heat at the World Championships in Budapest. Picture: AFP/Getty Images

In the longer event he had finished just outside the 
medals on Tuesday night with a time of 1:45.27, the Russian Aleksandr Krasnykh pipping him to third in 1:45.23.

After that race he said it was “a sore one to take, but I will learn from this experience and move on”. And, he 
certainly did just that.

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In the 100m heats yesterday morning the 20-year-old University of Stirling athlete finished third in his heat in 48.46, Cameron McEvoy of Australia winning it in 47.97 and his countryman Jack Cartwright finishing second in 48.43.

In the evening’s semi-final he went even quicker. He swam 48.10 in that one and that saw him qualify for the final as the sixth fastest of the eight athletes remaining.

After the semi-final he said: “I was happy with that. It has been a tough couple of days and it will be a real dogfight in the final. There are some quality swimmers, but I have given myself a chance.

“This is not an event that you would necessarily pick me for given my height and size. They are all big guys that I am up against, but I try to use my height-weight ratio to my advantage.

“I have been working hard with my coach to lengthen my stroke in the second 50m as we come home to get a strong finish and it seems to be working well. Now I just need to rest up and get myself ready for the final.”

Last year in Rio at the Olympics, Scott swam 48.01 in the final of the same event to 
finish in fifth place.

To push for a medal in this one he will likely have to break 48 seconds as in the semi-finals five athletes broke that barrier.

The five fastest qualifiers were France’s Mehdy Metella (47.65), Caleb Dressel of the USA (47.66), his countryman Nathan Adrian (47.85), McEvoy (47.95) and Cartwright (47.97).

Scott has that sort of time in his locker, though, and has a personal best of 47.90. The final takes place tonight.

In his first World Championships, Mark Szaranek did a great job to make it through the heats in the 200m individual medley before going out at the semi-final stage.

Fellow Team GB swimmer Max Litchfield showed Szarnek the way by winning his heat in 1:56.64 and then the 21-year-old from Glenrothes took centre stage.

Szaranek, who is linked to the University of Florida and the University of Edinburgh where his father coaches, claimed two silver medals at the 2017 British Swimming Championships earlier this year and in his heat swam 1:59.68 to finish fourth.

That was enough to see him through to the evening 

The first semi was won by American Chase Kalisz in a fast time of 1:55.88 and with the likes of Japan’s Kosuke Hagino and Litchfield in his race, Szaranek knew he was going to have to go close to his personal best of 1:58.39 to get through.

In the end he did go close to that, swimming a time of 1:58.80, but finishing seventh in that semi. That meant that he finished 11th overall to miss out on the final. However, he will take confidence into the 400m individual medley that takes place on the final day of the meet on Sunday.

Kathleen Dawson, the 19-year-old University of Stirling swimmer, could not progress from the heats in the 50m backstroke.

She posted a time of 28.42, but it wasn’t enough.

The fourth Scot in action in Hungary yesterday was Ross Murdoch. On Monday, 
Murdoch, the 23-year-old also from the University of Stirling, finished in eighth place in the final of the 100m breaststroke, before being back in the pool for the heats of the mixed 4x100m medley relay.

Murdoch swam the second leg in a time of 59.49 to safely progress to the final along with Georgia Davies, James Guy and Freya Anderson after finishing second to Australia in 3:44.79.

However, Murdoch was not required for the final, man of the moment Adam Peaty replacing him, as Team GB finished fifth in 3:41.56, USA 
taking gold in a world record time of 3:38.56.