Duncan Scott claims improbable 200 meters freestyle gold medal

Home city hero Duncan Scott defied a difficult lane draw to claim an improbable 200 metres freestyle gold medal at the European Championships in Glasgow.
 
The 21-year-old continued his emergence as one of the hottest prospects for Tokyo 2020 on a night when Freya Anderson also led Great Britain’s women’s 200m freestyle relay team to the top of the podium.
 
Meanwhile Adam Peaty’s quest for his third gold of the Games remained on track as he cruised through to Wednesday’s final of the men’s 50m breaststroke.
 
But for once the headlines ordinarily saved for Peaty were stolen by the Glasgow-born Scott, whose chances of a hugely popular crown appeared over after he was forced to settle for silver in his favoured 100m on Sunday.
 
Qualifying only eighth fastest, he was given a difficult task in the outside lane but produced a performance of perfect solitude to sink Lithuania’s Danas Rapsys into silver with a storming late run.
 
Scott said: “I just had to go out there with no expectations and swim my own race out there in lane eight.
 
“I didn’t really know what was going on with the rest of the field so it was quite tough in that sense. I had a lot of things to correct between the semis and the final and I’m glad I managed to do it.”
 
Scott’s win also marked his second gold medal of the Games after his part in the 200m freestyle relay win on Sunday – but he shrugged off suggestions that his performances this week have marked him out as a Tokyo star in the making.
 
“A lot changes in two years,” added Scott. “There’s a lot of Olympic champions out there that you might not have heard of yet. I’m just happy I was able to move on from my semi-final and improve.”
 
Meanwhile 17-year-old Freya Anderson dug deep to also claim her second Glasgow gold as she steered home the women’s 200m freestyle relay team.
 
Anderson’s performance on the final leg, when she timed 1.56.0 in the process of overhauling leaders Russia, was all the more impressive given she had been in the pool less than an hour previously to qualify for the individual 100m freestyle final.
 
Eleanor Faulkner, Kathryn Greenslade and Holly Hibbott had put Anderson in position to fight for a medal but gold looked in doubt until the teenager’s explosive final leg.
 
Georgia Davies narrowly failed to replicate her earlier 50m backstroke gold as she had to settle for silver in the 100m event behind Anastasia Fesikova of Russia.
 
Ben Proud also took silver in the men’s 50m butterfly after finishing narrowly behind big rival Andriy Govorov of Ukraine, while there was bronze for Holly Renshaw in the women’s 200m breaststroke.
 
Meanwhile Peaty shrugged off the possibility of another world record in Wednesday’s 50m final after he eased through his semi in 26.5 well ahead of his rivals.
 
Peaty, who shockingly lost his four-year unbeaten record at the event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April, said: “I didn’t come into this competition thinking I was going to get anywhere near the world records.
 
“I’m kind of just letting it happen and the racer in me will come out again tomorrow. I like to feel the pressure so I will be putting a little bit of pressure on myself again.”

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