Duncan Scott lane rope 200m IM GOLD European Short Course Champs 2023 [LEN]

Superb Scott serves up GB's fifth gold in Otopeni

8 Dec 2023

A medal of each colour boosted an eye-catching British Swimming medal tally further on day four of the European Short Course Championships, as Duncan Scott took an outstanding 200m Individual Medley gold before a freestyle silver-bronze combo for Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson. 

Up first on Friday night, Scott's glittering career roll of honour now boasts an individual European Short Course title after a scorching victory in the Men's 200m Individual Medley. 

The six-time Olympic medallist had secured himself the centre lane for the final and he owned it throughout, going out hard across the butterfly leg, maintaining his advantage on the backstroke and then really exploding clear through the breaststroke phase to threaten the European record. 

Bringing it home with his usual composed freestyle, Scott dipped inside 1:51 to clock a 1:50.98, a new British record and more than two seconds clear of Italy's Alberto Razzetti in second. In the pack, Joe Litchfield swam a well-paced race of his own to threaten the podium, ultimately placing fourth, 0.08 seconds off bronze. 

Reflecting on his triumph and the role of this meet as he builds towards a third Olympic Games, University of Stirling man Duncan said: "I think 2019 was the last I did of these, and then I was playing around with morning heats as finals getting ready for Tokyo, so this one title has alluded me, so it's really nice to add that. Also, with the time as well, a personal best is really good.

"I'm in good shape and have prepared well for this meet, but it's not the focus (due to Paris). Joe and I can train together and push one another, and tonight I'm delighted to nip under that 1:51 for sure."

In what is becoming par for the course in Romania, the Brits flew out of the blocks at the start of the evening session, with Duncan's medley gold followed by a double medal moment in the Women's 100m Freestyle. 

Anna Hopkin and Freya Anderson swum contrasting races in the final, with Loughborough Performance Centre swimmer Hopkin sprinting into an early lead and looking to defend from the front with her windmill stroke. 

Further outside those centre lanes, Anderson - who trains at the Bath Performance Centre - built into the race, sitting at the back of the pack at 50m, when Hopkin led the way. 

Ultimately, Hopkin missed out on gold in the final touch after a thrilling finish with France's Beryl Gastaldello - and while it was silver and a personal best for Anna, Freya burst down the final 25m, overtaking rivals to claim a brilliant bronze.

Anna Hopkin SILVER Freya Anderson BRONZE European Short Course Champs 2023 [LEN]

"I'm happy with that. It would have been amazing to win it, but the fact that I've got a PB each round and got quicker and I'm on the podium, that means I have to be happy with that," said Hopkin.

"I'm learning about swimming my own race. People hadn't gone their fastest in the semi-finals, so I tried to ignore what was going on around me and focus on my own race."

Anderson added: "I couldn't see what time I had got or where I came - I had to ask Michelle (Coleman) who said I was third, so that was a nice surprise! I was angry yesterday as I didn't swim my best race and I was quite in my own head, so to get on the podium with Anna, I couldn't ask for more." 

In other finals on the night, Luke Greenbank swam well to place fifth in the Men's 100m Backstroke showpiece, while Ed Mildred was sixth in the Men's 200m Butterfly. 

Both Medi Harris and Kathleen Dawson had a fast turnaround from the Women's 100m Backstroke semi-finals to the final of the 50m event. The pair finished seventh and eighth respectively over the shorter distance, having been fastest and second-fastest overall in the semis of the longer race. 

Other results (* denotes athlete missing out on qualification for semi-finals due to two-per-nation rule)

Women's 100m Backstroke

Medi Harris - first into final

Kathleen Dawson - second into final

Lauren Cox - 12th in heats*

Men's 200m Freestyle

James Guy - second into final

Matt Richards - third into final

Jack McMillan - fourth in heats*

Tom Dean - sixth in heats*

Women's 100m Butterfly 

Laura Stephens - 14th

Keanna MacInnes - 16th

Emily Large - 19th in heats

Men's 200m Breaststroke

Greg Butler - 11th

Women's 200m Individual Medley

Abbie Wood - first into final

Katie Shanahan - third into final

Leah Schlosshan - third in heats*

Men's 50m Butterfly

Jacob Peters - fourth into final

Full results and information on how you can watch every single session from Otopeni 2023 is available on our 'What's On?' page