The bucket list drafted by Duncan Scott and his coach Steve Tigg is extensive and ambitious. For swimming’s world championships in South Korea this July, the 21-year-old covets a crack at three individual events and some relays on top. Natural progression, extraordinary ambition, in the wake of his European and Commonwealth titles from last year and the Olympic silvers secured in 2016.
To fulfil his competitive desires, firstly the formality of securing his spot on the team via this week’s British trials in Glasgow. And on his bow last night, he claimed second place in the 200 metres butterfly behind close cohort James Guy in a ferocious duel in the pool which was decided by less than half a second.
“I don’t swim that event that often,” Scott acknowledged. “But when I do, I want to make the most of it.”
The fly remains a fringe pursuit. However, the 100 metres freestyle, in which he will compete today, is central to his plans of Olympic triumph come Tokyo 2020.
Many hours of cramming in the pool at the University of Stirling have been devoted to this examination. “The plan is to see how fast I can go compared to 2018,” he maintained. “It will be a good battle. There are some good boys in there. It will be interesting to see what the heats are like and what happens out of it.”
Adam Peaty departed Glasgow with formalities ticked off after winning the 50m breaststroke in 26.49 secs as an accompaniment to his 100m victory of 24 hours earlier.
Now, the Englishman declared, let his rivals bring their best come July. It will still not be enough, he forecast.
“When you shave and taper for a mid-season meet, you’re trying to psych me out and you still lose… it doesn’t really affect me.”
He plans to race two more meetings, in Spain and Italy, and mess with minds. “I’ll do Canet in Barcelona and hopefully Sette Colli just before worlds, which the rest of the world take very seriously for some reason. That will put them under pressure.”
Second and third in his wake, Ross Murdoch and Craig Benson must take one last shot at making their case for the worlds over 200m tomorrow.
James Wilby, who opted out of the 50m, will stand in their way but he is no Peaty. “If I can get through the first 100 nice and easy, I’m definitely in there with a shout,” said Murdoch.
Georgia Davies pipped Jessica Fullalove in the 100m backstroke with Kathleen Dawson edging out fellow Scot Cassie Wild for third by one-hundredth of a second. Craig McNally was “hugely disappointed” with fifth in the men’s 100m backstroke with Luke Greenbank victorious.