Scotland’s Duncan Scott added a gold and a silver to his fast-growing major medal collection as he helped Great Britain to 4x200m relay European Championships gold only 90 minutes after had claimed an individual silver in the men’s 100m freestyle.
The 21-year-old from Alloa, who became Scotland’s most successful athlete at a single Commonwealth Games when he brought home six medals, put GB in control of the relay final in front of a vocal Glasgow crowd when he took over from Callum Jarvis on the second leg. Thomas Dean battled to keep the Brits ahead of the Russians before master finisher James Guy streaked away to bring home the gold in a championship record of 7:05.32. Italy took bronze.
It adds to the gold medal Scott was a part of at the 2017 world championships and silver at 2016 Rio Olympics and enhances Britain’s growing reputation as a global relay force.
It also made up for the disappointment of Friday, when the GB quartet failed to reach a 4x100m final for which Scott had been rested. Fellow Scot Stephen Milne had helped make sure there was no repeat as he swam in Britain’s heat win.
“I put everything in it [the relay] after my individual event,” said Scott. “I knew it was going to be hard but I focused on this swim very much. It was a good performance, the team-work was awesome.”
There was slight disappointment for Scott in the morning as, like compatriot Ross Murdoch on Friday in the 100m breaststroke, he was scuppered by the two-per-nation rule in the 200m individual medley, winning his heat but registering a slightly slower time than his team-mates. Fellow Scot Mark Szaranek and Max Litchfield went through instead and both qualified well for tonight’s final.Scott was well down the field in the individual final of the 100m early on – the event in which he claimed a glorious gold on the Gold Coast – at the turn, but produced a storming last 50 metres to force his way on to the podium. He clocked 40.23 but was beaten by Miressi Alessandri, whose 48.01 would have pipped Scott’s 48.02 at the Commonwealths. Metella Mehdy of France took bronze.
“The 100 free was really good to progress through the rounds, heats, semi and final,” said Scott. “I’ve not got the easy speed I had earlier in the year or in recent years so I had to execute different skills, going into the wall harder and coming off it in a different way. It was one of those blanket finishes you get in the 100 free. I think every athlete wants to swim as fast as they can. When you come to a major meet like this I can’t really ask for more after the heat and the semi-final, to drop that time was quite good. I was really happy to get on the podium.”
Scott returns to the pool this morning for heats of the 200m freestyle.
Earlier, Georgia Davies won Great Britain’s second gold of the meet with victory in the women’s 50m backstroke. The Welshwoman won in 27.23 ahead of Anastasiia Fesikova of Russia and Finland’s Mimosa Jallow. There was more for the Scottish crowd to cheer when Ross Murdoch won his semi-final to qualify third fastest for this evening’s men’s 200m breaststroke final, in which he will defend his European title.
“I really enjoyed that swim. It was a fun race. But that’s just my dinner ticket for the final tomorrow,” he said after clocking 2:08.57.
Meanwhile, Adam Peaty’s world record could be in doubt after European swimming officials (LEN) admitted there had been a timing mechanism error on Saturday. The 23-year-old Englishman initially recorded a time of 57 seconds flat to win 100m breaststroke gold but it has since been revealed a configuration affected the first nine races of the session. The revised time still eclipses his previous best of 57.13secs set in the Olympic final in Rio in 2016 but it will be up to world body Fina to decide if it can ratify the time.
A second world record in the session, in which Russia’s Kliment Kolesnikov eclipsed Liam Tancock’s 50m backstroke time by 0.04secs, is therefore unaffected by the changes. Peaty starts his 50m campaign with heats tomorrow evening.