Local favourite Duncan Scott once again wowed the Tollcross crowd as he took gold in the 200m Individual Medley, smashing his lifetime best to come within 0.01 of the British record.
After breaking the British record to win the 100m Freestyle earlier in the week, the University of Stirling swimmer continued his red hot form in the medley event to get the better of an extremely strong field. Leading from the get-go, Scott really made his move on the breaststroke leg, admitting post-race that training with Ross Murdoch and Craig Benson is paying dividends for that stroke. Bringing it home with his trademark fast freestyle, Scott stopped the clock in 1.56.65, the European and Commonwealth champion going inside the qualifying time for the Gwangju World Championships for the second time this meet.
Afterwards a delighted Duncan said:
“I was happy with my Commonwealth Games but I was disappointed with my 200m IM time. I knew there was definitely more there so this evening is definitely a step in the right direction, a big PB by more than a second, so that’s really good. It’s good that I’ve been able to move it on and I feel like that kind of time has been in there for a while, it’s was just about getting it out and yeah I’m really happy with it.”
It took a lifetime best for young Tom Dean to win silver, the National Centre Bath swimmer going inside 1.59 for the first time, with Joe Litchfield snatching the final podium spot as he edged out Mark Szaranek and Max Litchfield, all three men going sub two.
“I’m really pleased” said Dean. “I broke that 59 and I’ve been trying to break that mark for a long time now and I’m really happy to finally break it. This is obviously one of my target meets, so a PB at a target meet is what it’s all about. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. Obviously it’s not decided, the Worlds selection, so I’m slightly unsure about what the rest of my season looks like, but I’m just really happy at the moment.”
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor was also in good form, taking the British 200m Individual Medley title and going inside the World Championship consideration time. After a disrupted build up to this meet, the Olympic medallist looked relaxed in winning her heat this morning, knocking a further second off that time this evening to ensure she’s very likely to be on the plane to South Korea this summer.
Almost a second up after the opening butterfly leg, the National Centre Bath swimmer only extended her advantage over the course of the backstroke and breaststroke legs to take a clear victory, with Alicia Wilson having a great swim for silver, whilst Abbie Wood took her second medal of the week in third.
Post-race O’Connor commented:
“Being British champion is great but I’m thinking about what’s to come in the summer and next year, so this is a stepping stone towards that, so I can take a lot from this definitely. It’s all about the next 18 months and what I can do bouncing on from this.”
“I haven’t raced really coming into this, so to be honest if I took a really unemotional look at it I have to be happy with it. It’s obviously not the time that I wanted but I got the consideration time and hopefully that gets me on the plane.”
50m man Ben Proud flew down one length of the Tollcross International Swimming Centre to take the title in a hard fought freestyle encounter. Hot favourite coming in, the 50m Butterfly world champion got a typically good start, powering home to bag the consideration time for Gwangju. Chasing him all the way were Edinburgh University’s David Cumberlidge and Jack Thorpe, that duo securing the minor medals.
Proud noted afterwards:
“After 21.5 this morning being really relaxed, I kind of thought being inside the qualification time was going to be there. In terms of my preparation, you know we’ve taken this cycle a little bit slower, just building through with Tokyo in mind. In that regard it’s actually been pretty good.
“Obviously you want to go to the World Championships and win as many gold medals as you can, but for me though really I’m going to South Korea this summer, hopefully, only with learning in mind. If I don’t get any medals this summer that’s fine as long as I do well in Tokyo next year. Obviously I want to retain my 50 fly title and better my performances from Budapest last time in the freestyle, but at the same time, I’ll just go there and do as best I can.”
After taking the 100m title earlier in the week, European champion Georgia Davies once again led from gun to take her second gold of the week here in Glasgow. With no qualifying times available for the 50m Backstroke, the gold medal was the number one priority for Davies and she did just that, coming home ahead of minor medallists Lauren Cox and Cassie Wild.
Of her performances this week, Davies said:
“The time, again, is off where I was hoping and expecting to be. I was worried I hadn’t done something quite right for the 100m, but with the 50m being off as well, maybe something has gone wrong with my taper, so I’m going to have to go back and work out what didn’t quite go right and how I can improve on that.
“I need to keep everything crossed – I don’t know where I stand in terms of being picked for the World Champs. If I have a chance to go then I’d be so thrilled and would get to correct the mistakes. Now is a better time than in the summer to do that.”
Stockport Metro’s Holly Hibbott showed her intent in the Women’s 400m Freestyle, attacking the race from the gun. The freestyler reached halfway in under two minutes, already with a sizeable lead, and in truth was never really challenged. Wrapping up her second gold of the week, Hibbott was a class above, however tired in the closing stages to just miss the consideration time. City of Leeds’ Leah Crisp finished well to take silver, with 17 year old Rachel Anderson from Millfield bagging bronze in a new lifetime best.
The final heat of the Men’s 800m Freestyle got the programme underway on Saturday evening, with the race wide open. Taking the initiative was City of Sheffield’s Samuel Budd, the 20 year old winning his first British title having already taken bronze in the 400m earlier in the week.
“The 800m was my most realistic goal of winning. I had the 400m earlier in the week but I pulled out of the 1500m so I could focus on the 800m. That just there proves I definitely made the right decision! I’m really pleased with it and sub eight is really good for me. I can’t be unhappy with a first senior gold medal at the British Champs and hopefully I’ll get to go to the World Uni Games now.”
If you’re 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