Duncan Scott underlined his unquestionable talent as he broke the British record to crown a sensational night of swimming on day three of the 2019 British Swimming Championships in Glasgow.
Earlier in the night Daniel Jervis produced the swim of his career to secure automatic World Championship qualification after dominating the 1500m, but Scott stole the show in the Men’s 100m Freestyle to round out proceedings.
Having looked good in qualifying, Stirling University’s Scott was hot favourite to take gold and book a seat on the plane to the World Championships in Gwangju, South Korea, but few would have predicted he would break the British record in the process. A quick first 50m saw him reach halfway in 23.10, and despite admitting it was hurting at the back end, Scott brought it home in fine style to touch in 47.87.
“It was good, a PB obviously and a nice way to move it on slightly from two years ago. It was nice to break 48 flat again, I’m happy with that. It was good to do it in Glasgow as well, as it’s becoming quite a good pool for me. Now it’s about trying to do that on an international scene quite consistently - I’d like to be competitive on the world stage, so there’s still quite a lot of areas for me to improve on for me to do that. That’s not going to medal at a World Championships so there’s definitely a couple more steps that need to be taken.
“It’s a weight off my shoulders though, as trials are always quite tough. The second you finish you know whether it’s good enough or not, there’s no real ‘am I on the team or not?’ You just know the second you’re done. It’s nice to get it out the way in my second day of racing and move on over the next couple of days.
“I’ve had a really good block of training and the last 8-12 months have been really good, with two altitude camps I’ve done with British Swimming - it’s been really good and consistent, which is key.”
Chasing him all the way was training partner Scott McLay, who took almost a second off his lifetime best from the start of the day to take silver, with David Cumberlidge getting up for third. In the transition final Jacob Whittle produced a record breaking swim to touch third in 50.37, the fastest time in history by a 14 year.
After winning the 400m title on the opening night, everything indicated that Daniel Jervis was in the shape of his life and so it proved as he moved to within half a second of the British record. With the Tollcross crowd roaring him on, Jervis pushed all the way, despite being well clear of the field, to stop the clock in 14.46.51, a personal best by some two seconds. That swim leaves him second on the British all-time rankings, behind only his idol David Davies.
A jubilant Jervis said:
“I’m really pleased with that - today was my day fortunately for me. I just had to keep focused as I was so nervous because I put a lot of pressure on myself. When I compete at Worlds that’s going to be a completely different environment, there’s going to be a lot more people, a lot more people to race, and a lot better guys than me and you never know what’s going to happen. I haven’t competed in that many major international competitions, so every competition I go to will just be a learning experience for me.”
Commenting on his idol David Davies, the double British champion said:
“David was just a legend - if that was 15 years ago just think what that time would have been now. That’s just testament to him and his coach back then, but me and my coach have got a lot to work on before then and I will be going after that time. Maybe not in the next competition but definitely in the future.”
The third automatic qualifier for the World Championships on the night was Max Litchfield, the National Centre Loughborough swimmer delivering when it counted to take the win in the Men’s 400m Individual Medley and go inside the required qualifying time. Setting things up with a strong butterfly leg, Litchfield led from start to finish to secure his spot on the GB team. Commonwealth Games medallist Mark Szaranek put up a good fight to take silver, with Millfield’s Brodie Williams bagging bronze.
Of his performance Litchfield said:
“That was the aim, to get under that time and we’ve done that, so it takes the pressure off the rest of the week a bit - we can have some fun in the two shorter events now! I try to make things simple, I do swim better when I keep things simple - it was a matter of getting that time and I’ve done that. I’ll go back and look at the splits now and see where we’re at, but I’m sure there’s definitely a few things we can work on that can bring that time down for sure in the summer.”
Alys Thomas was also on form on an incredible night of swimming, the Commonwealth and European medallist taking gold in the Women’s 200m Butterfly, a really strong swim bringing her home inside the World Championship consideration time. Despite a quick opening 100m, Thomas didn’t have it all her own way as silver medallist Laura Stephens finished like a train to set a new lifetime best of 2.07.96, less than a tenth outside the consideration time.
Afterward Alys said:
“I’m really pleased with that. Obviously it’s a season’s best and to be back where I was at Europeans, well I’m just pleased to be back there already. I think the aim for me is to keep progressing on the swim every time I swim it, and just keep getting faster this season. I got the consideration time so I’ll just have to wait and see about Worlds, but obviously it’d be my second Worlds. My last one in Budapest I was sick, so I don’t think I got to swim to my full potential, so I’ll be giving it a good go if I get to go.”
Anna Hopkin powered her way to the Women’s 50m Freestyle British title, backing up her status as fastest qualifier. After qualifying first in the Women’s 50m Butterfly only to finish fourth in the final, Hopkin had a point to prove and she duly delivered tonight. Taking the touch ahead of Emily Barclay and Freya Anderson, Hopkin dipped under 25 seconds but was just pleased to take the title.
“I’m really happy to have won - obviously it wasn’t quite as quick as the morning, so I’d always like to go quicker but at the end of the day the final is about the win, so I’m happy. I’ve got the 100m tomorrow so that’s the main focus for me, so hopefully I can bring this into that.”
The live stream resumes at 10am tomorrow morning in the Deep End Live studio, with the finals kicking off at 6.30pm. Head to the British Swimming Facebook and YouTube channels to ensure you don’t miss out.
If you’re up in Glasgow, a limited number of tickets are still available on the door at the venue.
For full results from today’s action please click here