Cox, Dawson and Scott get finals racing in the bank

13 Feb 2024

Lauren Cox, Kathleen Dawson and Duncan Scott all notched top-six finishes as Britain's swimmers got through more valuable World Championship racing on day three of the swimming programme in Doha. 

A new Women's 100m Backstroke personal best for Cox was the highlight of the Tuesday finals session, the 2023 world 50m Backstroke medallist showing good pace over the first lap and backing it up well down the back 50m to touch in a time of 59.60, nearly two tenths inside her previous best mark.

That was good enough for fifth in the world, with compatriot Dawson - one lane outside her - following Cox home to the wall, touching in sixth in her first individual World Championship final since 2017.

As the GB cohort continue building towards the all-important British Swimming Championships in April, both athletes reflected positively on their showings at this time of the season.

"I'm really pleased with the progression. I managed to step up each time and that's a new PB, so I'm really happy with those as in-season swims. This is just to give us preparation for Olympic trials at British Champs, and hopefully give us some confidence going into that," said Lauren.

Kathleen added: "I can't complain, I was a bit harsh with myself yesterday. It's been very consistent and I should take a lot of confidence from that. My aim was to come in and make it through as many rounds as possible, so it's nice to come out of the final in sixth. The last time I was in the 100m Backstroke final at a World Championships was seven years ago in Budapest, so it's nice to be back here.

"It was nice walking out with Lauren too, and it's good to see her go a PB. The standard of the 100m Backstroke in Britain is improving, so it's good to see."

The other British finalist on day three was Dawson's University of Stirling teammate Scott, who was completing his fifth swim already in the meet. 

Having put in two strong swims on day one to help secure Britain's Men's 4x100m Freestyle Relay Olympic place for Paris, the six-time Olympic medallist showed the value of his current training block by moving things on from round to round in the Men's 200m Freestyle.

Duncan Scott underwater dive entry shot 200m Free Doha 2024
Duncan Scott has raced five times in the opening three days in Doha

Taking out the first half of the race at a steadier pace than Monday's semi-final, Scott came back stronger and held on well to finish sixth for another priceless top-level competition opportunity in mid-February.

"It's good, tough racing. I just wanted to get some head-to-head stuff, get in there and have a good fight, and I managed to do that. It's another one in there, and I'll learn from that as well," he said.

"It's a strange one, being in the call room. It's obviously a Worlds final, but I know the preparation I've put in and I also know what's at stake for the rest of the year. It's a little bit strange, but these experiences, there isn't many of them, even though it feels like we've had a Worlds every five months recently. It's all valuable and I'll learn a lot from that moving forwards, for sure.

"I'll probably accumulate quite a lot of swims this week, but that's really valuable come the summer, hopefully. I've got the 200m Individual Medley tomorrow morning, so we'll see how that goes!"

Adam Peaty was back in the pool after his return to the World Championship podium with 100m Breaststroke bronze on Monday, as Tuesday brought the heats and semi-finals of the 50m event. 

Qualifying 12th-fastest for the semis, world-record holder Peaty moved things on nicely, powering on to touch second in his semi-final and see him through fourth-fastest into the final. 

Meanwhile, Max Litchfield placed 12th overall in the Men's 200m Butterfly after making it through the heats and moving his time on well in the semi-finals, with the 400m Individual Medley to come later in the week, while Lucy Hope missed out on the Women's 200m Freestyle semi-finals by a single place, ranking 17th.