Duncan Scott has broken yet another British record in the pool - shaving 0.74 seconds off the Men’s 200m Individual Medley - in a successful week for University of Stirling swimmers.
Scott's latest success came at the British Swimming Selection Trials - the main qualifying event for this summer's Olympic Games in Tokyo - which is being held at the London Aquatics Centre this week.
Double-Olympic silver medallist Scott, who has already been selected for Team GB, won gold at the Trials, raising hopes for triumph in the summer. Scott used his favoured freestyle stroke to complete the race in 1:55:90, beating previous record-holder Max Litchfield. Max’s brother Joe Litchfield should also be selected, having come in second at 1:57:74.
Scott credited his University of Stirling coaches with his win, saying: “It’s been a while since a long-course tapered meet, that was World Championships in 2019, so I’m just grateful to be here. I’m delighted with that swim, it’s a big PB and it's great to move things on too.
“Balancing the events I do, I’ve got to put that down to my coaches, Brad Hay and Steve Tigg, the way they are able to balance the sessions and the way they prioritise different things throughout the week. There’s been a lot of work on the breaststroke, I don’t know if it paid off, but I enjoy doing the medley stuff, it’s good fun.”
Aimee Willmott also hit an impressive time at the British Trials.
Fellow Olympian and University of Stirling swimmer, Aimee Wilmott, also hit an impressive time, beating the 4:36.78 target in the Women’s 400m Individual Medley to come in at 4:35:70.
Two-times Olympian and Commonwealth champion Wilmott, who considered retiring after Rio but now hopes to be selected for Tokyo, said: “It was tough. I knew it was going to be tough going into the race, me versus the clock, so I just really tried to get into my own race and thought, if I’m dying but I’ve gone for it and I miss the consideration time then so be it – I just had to give myself a chance.
“It’s kind of strange because, after Rio, I didn’t think I’d still be swimming towards to Tokyo – and then it’s been another year, it’s been a five-year cycle. It’s a strange one, but I’m so happy to go under the time, fingers crossed it’s enough and I can finish on a high in Tokyo.”
Kathleen Dawson said she was "over the moon" with her result.
Meanwhile, fellow Stirling swimmers Kathleen Dawson and Cassie Wild both excelled in the Women's 100m Backstroke final.
Dawson laid down the second-fastest time in the world this year to tear past the Olympic consideration time of 1:00.23 by nearly two seconds, narrowly missing out on Gemma Spofforth’s British and European record, set during the textile suit era.
“I’m completely delighted with that, I didn’t quite expect to go as fast as that. I’m over the moon – and to do the consideration time with Cassie makes it even better,” said the 23-year-old. “I can’t thank our coaches Bradley Hay and Steve Tigg enough, and my coach Darren Ashley from back at Warriors of Warrington, I wouldn’t be here without him. There are too many people I need to thank for this!
"I can’t thank the coaches and support staff enough across British Swimming and Scottish Swimming. They put in the hours as well and I’m genuinely grateful for all that they do. Looking ahead I will continue with the hard work, continue to enjoy my sport and apply myself to training. It really will be just business as usual.”
Wild, who recorded a personal best, added: “I’m absolutely over the moon with that. Like Kat said, it’s nice for us to do it together. Prep has been going well, I was hoping to go under the consideration time. Seeing everyone from Stirling do so well yesterday, I was looking forward to racing tonight.”