Duncan Scott admitted he was very disappointed, but that he would learn from the experience and move on after he agonisingly missed out on a medal in the 200m freestyle final at the World Championships in Budapest.
The 20-year-old University of Stirling athlete, who won two relay medals at the Rio Olympics, finished fourth last night with a time of 1:45.27 with the Russian Aleksandr Krasnykh pipping him to third in 1:45.23.
Sun Yang of China won the event in 1:44.39 with Townley Haas of the USA (1:45.04) picking up silver.
James Guy, Scott’s Team GB team mate, was fifth in 1:45.36, but all eyes north of the border were on Scott.
And he so nearly got on the podium, but what rankled with him even more afterwards was knowing that if he had swum the personal best that he had in the semi-final on Monday evening (1:45.16) he would have had a bronze medal round his neck.
After the race in Hungary he said: “It was definitely disappointing, I looked up at the end and knew I had been edged out of the medals, but that is swimming at the top level.
“To swim your best time at a meet in the semi-finals is never ideal, but I have to take confidence from that time and know that I can go faster in the future. It is a sore one to take at the minute, but I will learn from this experience and move on.”
Scott revealed that in the lead up to this big event he and his coach Steven Tigg had been working on ways to swim the 200m freestyle differently.
The usual race plan for Scott in the past has been to go out fast, but he finished strongly in this one and it nearly paid off.
“I have been working on swimming the race different ways and I felt good out there, it just wasn’t to be,” he added.
“As I say though it has been a great experience for me and I still have other events to come so after rest and recovery they are my focus now.”
He does not have long to wait until he is back in the pool with the 100m freestyle heats set to take place this morning.
The relays then come later in the week and Guy added: “It bodes well for the relay that myself and Duncan are swimming low 1:45s right now.”
Meanwhile, Scott’s University of Stirling team mate Kathleen Dawson admitted she was in awe of the superstars around her, but proud of the way she swam in the 100m backstroke final.
To make the final she had swam a time of 59.82 in the semi-finals on Monday evening and that had clearly left her in fine fettle because she came flying out of the blocks and was right in the mix over the first 50m.
Her split time was 28.78, but the frantic pace caught up with her in the second half of the race as she tied up a bit and finished eighth in a time of 59.90.
Kylie Masse of Canada took the gold medal in a world record time of 58.10 with the USA’s Kathleen Baker (58.58) in second and Australia’s Emily Seebohm in third with a time of 58.59.
Dawson has come on a lot since she earned a bronze in the same event at the European Championships in London last year, though, and the 19-year-old was happy with her swim. She said: “I know I came eighth and I had hoped to come in a bit higher, but I just cannot stop smiling.
“To be in a race with this calibre of swimmers in this atmosphere while a record was being broken was such an experience and it just shows that I deserve to be here.
“I have worked so hard and I am just trying to take in everything I can about this World Championships and use it to my benefit going forward in my career.
“I did maybe go out a bit fast, but I wanted to attack the race and I think I did a good job – onwards and upwards – and to be around stars of the pool is pretty surreal,” Dawson added.