Scott hat-trick the perfect end to the 2019 British Championships

21 Apr 2019

Duncan Scott brought the house down as he won his third British title of the week at the Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

With the Scottish crowd roaring him on, Scott dug deep into his reserves in his tenth race in six days to get the better of James Guy in a brilliant Men’s 200m Freestyle encounter. In arguably the deepest field of the week, eight men did battle over four lengths, with Scott and Guy to the fore throughout. Despite being separated by Calum Jarvis in lane five, the pair were breathing on opposite sides, tracking each other all the way.

In the end though the in-form Scott had the strength to move clear in the final 50m, securing his third title and third World Championships qualifying time of the week.

“It’s faster than I was two years ago at trials and that’s my tenth race of the week. At the World Championships, I think the 200m free is up first. It’s a solid swim, only 0.3 slower than I went in the European final, so I’ve got to take that. That was a hard swim, constantly battling with Jimmy, but it’s always a pleasure as he’s a great competitor.”

National Centre Bath’s Tom Dean finished quickly to smash his lifetime best and join his training partner James Guy on the podium, Guy also going inside the consideration time for the July event that will take place in South Korea.

Luke Greenbank was another swimmer to show his class on the final night as he clinched his second British title, adding Men’s 200m Backstroke gold to the 100m title he won at the start of the week. This time however he went inside the consideration time for Gwangju 2019 with a massive 1.55.89 lifetime best, slicing exactly a second off his four year old personal best.

“This is amazing. I’ve struggled for the last couple of years so I’m just so happy to be back on form in that race there, it was amazing, I can’t put it into words.”

On hitting the consideration time, Greenbank added:

“I knew I was definitely capable of doing it, but I didn’t try to think about it too much, as I do have a tendency to overthink things, but it was always in the back of my mind. This is what I wanted this week, to come here and do the times and get on the team, so I’m just really, really pleased with that.”

Swansea’s Alys Thomas doubled her gold medal tally here in Glasgow as she added the 100m Butterfly crown to the 200m equivalent that she won on the third day of action. Heading the qualifiers coming into tonight’s final, the European medallist bore the weight of the favourite tag, producing a confident swim to see off silver and bronze medallists Charlotte Atkinson and Laura Stephens in the closing stages.

Summarising her week, Thomas said:

“Yeah, it’s not been too bad – two British titles in one week!”

Having gone inside the consideration time for the 200m event on Thursday, Thomas will hope to contest that event and the medley relay in Gwangju.

“We did really well at the Europeans and it is a strong relay - when we’re on form we could go all the way. I’m only new to the medley relay team anyway but those girls are strong, Freya, Siobhan and Georgia as well - when we’re on fire I believe we could be really competitive in it.”

Jocelyn Ulyett upset the odds to take Women’s 100m Breaststroke gold, edging ahead in the closing stages of a thrilling encounter. A fast starter, it was 50m champion Sarah Vasey who headed the field at halfway, but 2017 British 200m champion Ulyett showed her strength to overhaul her in the final 10 metres to take gold. In the end youngster Tatiana Belonogoff also showed great back end speed to snatch silver, with Vasey having to settle for bronze.

On being crowned British champion again, the Loughborough University swimmer said:

“It’s a bit surreal – it’s a good feeling! I always knew it was going to be really close but I just tried to focus on my own swim. I knew that Siobhan and Sarah either side of me would go out fast, so I just tried to come back on them and use my 200m pace. It’s been a tough past few years, so this meet for me was about coming here and having fun most importantly, as I swim fast when I have fun. I’ve stepped forward with my 200m but I’m really pleased with this.”

Such was the quality of the field that 200m champion Molly Renshaw, 200m IM champion Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Imogen Clark had to settle for fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.

Hot favourite Ben Proud duly delivered to add the Men’s 50m Butterfly title to the 50m Freestyle gold that he won on Saturday night. Out of the blocks well, Proud only stretched his advantage to win by a body length from Lewis Fraser and Jacob Peters, afterwards saying:

“I’m happy with that swim tonight. I think looking back at both races, both of them have been consistently off my best but it reflects that we’ve just been taking a steady build throughout the season and I think that’s going to pay dividends for the summer. I’m definitely trying to learn how to focus my preparations to the one big meet each year; I think that’s how my career is going to have to be now and that’s all I want to be doing – winning medals on the world stage.”

The Women’s 1500m Freestyle was a real nail biter, as despite being contested over 30 lengths of the pool, it came down to the wire. Loughborough University’s Emily Clark set her stall out from the get-go, a lone leader, however with four laps to go 800m champion Leah Crisp finally drew level, Even at the bell the duo were still locked in battle, the former moving away down the final length to win by one second. Like City of Leeds’ Crisp, Newcastle’s Georgia Darwent swam a measured race to get up for bronze.

Re-watch every minute of the British Swimming Championships by clicking here.

For full results from all of the week’s action, please click here