Duncan Scott showed his class on Tuesday evening as he raced to bronze in the Men’s 200m Freestyle final, in what could well be the race of the 2019 World Championships.
With eight of the world’s best lining up, separated by just half a second in the semi-finals, it was always going to be a thrilling race and so it proved.
Drawn in lane six, Scott was in contention the whole way as he slowly but surely moved through the field; fifth at 50m, fourth at 100m and third at 150m, Scott was in the mix but it was still anyone’s to win.
Going to his legs, Scott battled all the way down the final 50m in a nail-biting race, eventually touching fourth tied with Martin Malyutin of Russia. A few moments later though the scoreboard changed, with the man who touched first, Danas Rapsys disqualified for a false start, meaning Scott won bronze.
Winning his first global medal, Scott was pleased to improve on his fourth place finish two years ago in Budapest, commenting:
“I knew some of the boys were going to take it out hard and I knew some would come back fast. I guess that’s the beauty of the event, there are so many different ways to swim it. It must be a good event to watch, it makes it quite entertaining, but at the same time it makes it difficult to be part of!
“I didn’t want fourth - it would have been fourth again after 2017 - that would have been gutting. I didn’t even know who had come first and had to look around and then by the time I had looked back at the board you could hear everyone sort of gasping and shocks going around the room. I’ve not seen many people DQ’d on freestyle as there’s not much to get DQ’d for.
“It is a big step forward knowing I can compete at the top level. I’ve done it at the Europeans and the Commonwealth Games, but never at Worlds. My immediate reaction is thinking how I could have done better, but that’s just who I am. I’m sure once the emotions go out of it and in a couple of hours’ time, I’ll be feeling proud.”
Adam Peaty made light work of securing his favoured lane four for tomorrow night’s 50m Breaststroke final, the reigning World Champion stopping the clock at 26.11 to win his semi-final by half a second. Having won his heat in similar style, Peaty will return to the pool tomorrow night with eyes on completing the triple-double at the World Championships.
Afterwards Peaty said:
“That was good. That’s my third day of proper sprinting so now I’ll put my feet up and rest before tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ve just got to cool my head and execute it as best I can.”
Molly Renshaw was also in breaststroke action having qualified for the 100m final the previous day with two personal bests. A 200m specialist, Renshaw has shown great speed so far this championship and in the final she knew she’d have to go out harder than ever to be in the mix at the sharp end.
Attacking off the blocks the Brit gave another great account of herself, once again going sub 67, a 1.06.96 time her second fastest ever as she finished seventh.
“I don’t think I could have asked for much more really. I’ve dropped a second on my 100 over two days and it’s good to do another sub 67 – I’m really happy with that. This is a really good set up event, as I never even came here expecting to make the semi-final, never mind the final, so it just gives me more confidence going into the 200m. I’m not putting any limits on myself now.”
Freya Anderson was another member of the Great Britain team to swim back to back lifetimes bests, as in the semi-finals of the Women’s 200m Freestyle the Ellesmere College swimmer posted a 1.57.51 time, after a 1.57.68 lifetime best in the heats.
With Frederica Pellegrini and Sarah Sjoestroem on her inside Anderson knew she would have to swim an aggressive race if she was to match them, but was confident she could go even better than her swim earlier in the day. Really pushing the pace on the second and third lengths, Anderson gave herself the best possible chance of advancing, but despite that PB had to settle for seventh.
“It wasn’t as big a step up as I wanted but I’ll take that. To PB in the heats and again tonight is pretty good I suppose. It was a world class field but I’ve got to get used to that now. I’ve got the mixed medley tomorrow so we’ll see how that goes.”
Scott will return to action tomorrow morning, with Adam Peaty going for his second gold of the week in the 50m Breaststroke in the evening.
The action resumes at 10.00 local time (02.00 UK time) tomorrow - you can catch all the action live on FINA TV
Full results from the FINA World Aquatics Championships can be found here.
Highlights will be shown on the BBC Two as follows:
15.45 – 17.15:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
15:00 – 16:00: Saturday
15.30 – 17.00: Sunday
*highlights will also be available on the red button at select times.