Scott's gold leads Scottish swimming success at Commonwealth Games

Scott's gold leads Scottish swimming success at Commonwealth Games
·3 min read

Duncan Scott emerged victorious in the battle of the Brits as he claimed a measure of revenge over his Tokyo conqueror Tom Dean.

A year ago, it was young pretender Dean who stunned his more experienced teammate as the pair claimed Olympic gold and silver in the 200m freestyle.

For much of that race, it looked as though Scott would come through, but he was pipped to the post on the biggest stage of all.

In Birmingham though, it was the Team Scotland swimmer who claimed home nations bragging rights, and relatively comfortably with a commanding swim.

The fact that he had not yet swum internationally this year because of a Covid-enforced absence had made him something of a man of mystery coming into the event, having missed the World Championships where Dean won bronze.

But Scott quickly allayed any fears over his form, racing to victory in 1:45.02, nearly four tenths quicker than his rival and close friend.

He said: “An international final, the times go out of the window and it’s just about racing. It was a good battle, hopefully we can rekindle our relationship for British swimming teams.

“We’ve been fine, chatting as normal and plenty of jokes, I had lunch with him the other day. We get on well and it was just another race. Instead of him wearing a Bath hat and me a Stirling one, it’s different colours on.

“I’ve come in a bit of an unknown, I like to race quite a lot and this year didn’t present that opportunity, I was gutted to miss Worlds, I love being on those teams. But I’m happy to be here and be able to do what I can.”

No sooner had Scott triumphed in the most anticipated race of the entire meet, he was back in action in the final of the 400m individual medley.

Successive gold medals would have been asking a lot, but he impressed on his way to bronze behind New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt to take his tally of Commonwealth medals to nine.

Scott’s win was quickly followed by more Scottish success, Stephen Clegg missing out on gold in the men’s 50m freestyle S13 by just one hundredth of a second, going 24.33.

Coming into the race ranked fourth, but Clegg exceeded expectations only to miss out to Canada’s Nick Turbide by the closest of margins.

He said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. I said coming in that it would take a 24.3 to win it, and I was right, but I was just on the wrong side of it.

“It’s becoming a bit of curse for me, getting touched out by small margins. But I’m not even upset, I had no expectations to win it.”

Elsewhere Ross Murdoch followed up his heart-warming bronze medal in the 200m breaststroke by securing a place in the final of the 100m, where he will be joined by compatriot Craig Benson.

And it was a similar story for Katie Shanahan after her surprise bronze on Friday. She was back in action in the women’s 100m backstroke and earned safe passage through, although Cassie Wild missed out.

Finally, Kara Hanlon had to settle for eighth in the final of the 50m breaststroke.

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