Commonwealth Games: Duncan Scott Again Fights Off Tom Dean, This Time in 200 Individual Medley

Duncan Scott

Commonwealth Games: Duncan Scott Again Fights Off Tom Dean, This Time in 200 Individual Medley

There’s something about gold-silver finishes that appeal to Duncan Scott and Tom Dean, the British stars who are competing separately at the Commonwealth Games for Scotland and England.

For the third time in a year at a major international competition, Scott and Dean – in some order – put together a one-two showing, this time with Scott winning the title in the 200-meter individual medley at Commonwealths. Scott stopped the clock in a Games record of 1:56.88, which was slightly quicker than the 1:57.01 of Dean. Grabbing the bronze medal was New Zealand’s Lewis Clareburt, who earned his third podium appearance of the meet on the strength of a swim of 1:57.59. Clareburt previous won championships in the 400 individual medley and 200 butterfly.

At last summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo, it was Dean who led Scott to the wall in the final of the 200 freestyle. This week at the Sandwell Aquatics Centre in Birmingham, Scott who twice edged his pal. The first reversal of the Tokyo outcome arrived in the 200 freestyle, followed by Wednesday’s result in the 200 medley.

In a way, Scott has played the role of alchemist. In addition to being the silver medalist behind Dean in the 200 freestyle at the Olympics, Scott was the silver medalist in the 200 medley (behind China’s Wang Shun). Although Commonwealth titles do not equate to Olympic crowns, Scott was still able to reach a higher step on the podium, and accomplish what he sought to achieve when he arrived in Birmingham.

Fourth through the opening butterfly leg, Scott moved into the lead on the backstroke portion of the race and never relinquished command. The key for Scott was holding off Dean on the freestyle leg, as the aces in that stroke fought for the final 50 meters. Scott turned in a split of 27.98 and while that was a half-second slower than the 27.45 of Dean, he had built enough of a cushion to get to the wall first. Dean’s closing freestyle lifted him from third at the 150-meter mark to ahead of Clareburt.


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