Duncan Scott misses medal but Ross Murdoch still in the hunt

Ross Murdoch on his way to winning his 200m breaststroke semi-final at the World Championships in Budapest. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
Ross Murdoch on his way to winning his 200m breaststroke semi-final at the World Championships in Budapest. Picture: AFP/Getty Images
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Duncan Scott admitted he was “gutted” after he was just edged out of the medals for the second time in three days by finishing fifth in the 100m freestyle final at the World Championships in Budapest last night.

On Tuesday the 20-year-old University of Stirling athlete, who won two relay medals at the Rio Olympics, finished fourth in the 200m freestyle, losing out on a medal by 0.04 seconds.

And yesterday he was well in the mix for a medal in the 100m freestyle right up until the last few metres, just missing out in a time of 48.11.

The winner of the gold medal was Caeleb Dressel from the USA in an impressive 47.17, his countryman Nathan Adrian was second in 47.87 with Frenchman Mehdy Metella, the fastest qualifier from the semi-finals, grabbing the bronze in 47.89.

Cameron McEvoy of Australia was fourth in 47.92 and Scott was left to ponder what might have been. He also finished fifth in the same event at the Olympics last year and after this latest race he said: “Once again I didn’t manage to produce the best time that I can do in the final and that is frustrating, right now straight after the race I am gutted.

“That is the way things go sometimes, but I will really have to go back and look at this race with my coach and see where things didn’t quite go right.

“I was feeling good going into the race and I am still only 20 so this is a good experience for me on the big stage, but a 
medal would have made it all the sweeter.

“I need to try to build on these types of experiences and make myself even better in the future.”

Scott has had a busy week and a couple of tough finals to take on board, but he is likely to be back in action today in the 4 x 200 freestyle relay.

The heats are this morning and the final this evening and, given that Team GB with Scott included won a silver in this event in Rio last year and are defending champions, they will have a good medal chance.

“It is a new day and we are a good team, including a few guys who have not swum this week yet and will be itching to get going, so I am looking forward to it now,” Scott added.

Meanwhile, Ross Murdoch looked calm and composed as he won through to the final of the 200m breaststroke.

This was of course the event in which Murdoch, the 23-year-old from the University of Stirling, made his name during the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014. Then he defeated countryman Michael Jamieson to win gold and he looks back to that kind of form after an up-and-down couple of years.

Yesterday morning he went in heat three and won that one in a time of 2:08.98, second placed Kevin Cordes from the USA nearly half a second behind him.

In the evening he went in the first semi-final and looked great in the first 100m, 
leading the way ahead of his competitors.

Over the second half of the race he eased off slightly and Yasuhiro Koseki from Japan nearly caught him up.

Murdoch held on to win the semi-final in a time of 2:07.72 before, in the second semi, Russian Anton Chupkov won in a time of 2:07.14 to break the European record. 
Second placed Ippei Watanabe (Japan) also looked good in 2:07.44, but Murdoch qualified in third place for the final and looks relaxed and ready to take them on in the final.

There was a shock when Olympic champion Dmitriy Balandin from Kazakhstan missed out on the final.

Murdoch said: “I just love this event and I was just having fun out there and it seemed to go well for me.

“I was so focused on my breathing and my own race that I didn’t realise I had gone out so fast in the semis, but I was happy with the time in the end and I know I have more in the tank for the final.

“It is a good field for the final, but I am looking forward to it.”

The final takes place this evening.