Duncan Scott Showcases Versatile Excellence With 1:56.08 In 200IM: Mutual Respect Of Burras & Proud Evident At British Championships

18th April 2021, London Aquatics Centre, London, England ; 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials
Duncan Scott: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr

Duncan Scott followed up his British 400IM record with 1:56.08 in the 200IM at the British Championships on a thrilling penultimate night in Sheffield.

Lewis Burras completed the sprint double with a 21.77 blast in the 50 free ahead of Ben Proud and  Abbie Wood clinched a hat-trick of titles in the women’s 200IM.

Freya Anderson won the 400 free and Dan Jervis claimed a freestyle treble in the 8o0 while Lauren Cox took the 50 back in 27.83.

The six-day meet doubles as the trials for the World Championships in Budapest as well as giving swimmers an opportunity to book consideration times for their respective home nations at the Commonwealth Games in July.

Scott had been preselected in the 200IM thanks to his silver medal in Tokyo.

His 4:09.18 in the long medley was the University of Stirling swimmer’s third individual British record with his effort on Saturday evening confirming – if it needed to be confirmed – his place as one of the most versatile swimmers around today.

He split 25.00/54.07/1:27.92 before a final 50 of 28.16 propelled him home 0.8secs outside his silver medal-winning time of 1:55.28, also a national mark.

Behind him in a huge PB came Tom Dean who was also inside the cut for Budapest in 1:57.18, good enough for fifth in Tokyo.

The gold and silver medallists in the 200 free at last year’s Olympics now the first two home in the four-length medley.

Scott said:

“That was really hard but I didn’t know where I’d be at. I’m pretty happy with that. I did what I wanted to do. I really wanted to challenge that front end because I thought that is where last year I could have maybe gone a bit better. It was a good honest swim.

“Since the start of the season, I wanted to mix things up a bit. It obviously will still benefit this and the 200 free but it is not going to make me as ready for the 200s at this moment in time.

“But I came here with 400 IM as my priority. That was the main thing. For the rest of the season, I’ll have a decision about what I’m going to do. But moving forward, the 200s are the main thing.”

Dean has now booked berths for the 100 and 200 free plus the 200IM in Budapest and he said:

“I can’t complain. Top two again, worlds qualification again. I haven’t trained this event, I haven’t swum it for three years so a big ton off the PB, almost in 1:56 territory and that’s when stuff gets exciting.”

Proud Welcomes Burras’ Challenge

Lewis Burras

Lewis Burras: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

Burras spoke after a 21.90 prelims blast that he aspired to be like Proud who has dominated British freestyle sprinting for many years.

Proud has an extensive armoury that includes world, European and Commonwealth medals and he has remained unbeaten in this event in British waters since 2015.

His British record of 21.11 remains the seventh fastest in history all suits with the 27-year-old the fourth swiftest man all-time.

Burras, though, announced himself on the wider international stage earlier this week when he was 0.01 outside Scott’s 100 free national mark in 47.88.

Come the final and it was he who touched first in 21.77 with Proud next home in 21.91.

At 22 he has already been on a winding road that started in the UAE with Hamilton Aquatics and a bronze at the 2018 European juniors before a short stopover at the University of Virginia followed by a return home

The University of South Carolina beckoned, punctuated by a performance of some sizzle when he won the B final of the US Nationals, before covid intervened and he once more came home.

He was introduced to Zoe Baker, head coach at Winchester City Penguins and 2002 Commonwealth 50 breaststroke champion, in June 2021.

Of the race, he said:

“It’s just under my PB, I’m really happy with that. For the last eight years or so, Ben has been the guy for British sprinting and he has set the bar really high – not only in the country but also on the international stage.

“To have someone so good and setting the bar so high has really helped to push me on.”

Proud wore a wide smile on poolside – “all good,” he said, welcoming the challenge presented by Burras.

“It’s the first time in eight years since I’ve come to British Champs and had someone to race against,” he said.

“There has been a long empty gap so to have Lewis come out of the woodwork this year is very inspiring, it’s nice to have someone chasing my heels and I’m very excited.

“He’s a brilliant guy: I like the way he thinks, he’s a true sprinter and we haven’t had someone like that in Britain for a while so exciting.”


Ben Proud: Photo Courtesy: Becca Wyant

There is an evident mutual respect between the pair – Burras looking up to Proud who in turn hopes to one day pass on the knowledge he has accumulated through a fine career.

He said:

“It’s nice: I am not retiring anytime soon but there is going to come a point where my career starts to take a taper, I start to move on to other things, I am not saying it is coming soon but at some point.

“So it will be nice to work with someone a bit younger and have someone to really race against, to push me.

“I think I have always wanted to talk to someone, share what I’ve learned and take my career, my knowledge, everything I gained through the past 10 years and see if I can transfer (it) to someone else and see if they can go on and have an even better career.”

Of the race, he added:

“I knew today was going to be a race and I was looking forward to it: I could see him out of my peripherals, see him coming through, because he’s different swimmer to me, a much, much faster swimming speed.

“It is good to race against someone has something different: new techniques, new tactics, so it’s good.”

Anderson Wins 400; Hat-Trick For Wood

Freya Anderson (photo: Mike Lewis)

Photo Courtesy: MIKE LEWIS / ISL

For Anderson, her victory in the 400 free was “the highlight of the week” after she was second in the 100 and 200 free.

Freya Colbert led until 375 when the Tokyo Olympian surged and stopped the clock in 4:08.46, a four-second PB.

Colbert was second in 4:09.04 – also a PB – although neither woman booked a slot for Budapest.

For Anderson, though, victory was a real high point of the meet after a period of struggle.

She said:

“This week has been weird – to sum it up in one word – it has not gone how I wanted it to go.

“The 200 I completely blew it: I don’t know why. I had to bounce back with the 100, I had that day to mope and had to get back on it.

“I was happy with the 100 and I am happy with that.”

Anderson, who is coached by Dave McNulty at Bath NTC, added:

“We have just been dabbling with the 400m freestyle. I did it a bit when I was younger because I could do everything and not get tired! It’s a bit different these days. It’s gone well this season, so we’ll have to see where it fits in with my programme at big meets.”

Wood, preselected after fourth in Tokyo, led throughout and extended her lead on the final 50 to stop the clock at 2:11.03.

She said:

“I’m just trying to learn through each swim. At the start of the meet, Dave [coach Dave Hemmings] and I agreed we wanted 10 solid swims through the week, so for my eighth of the week, I can’t be too annoyed.

“It’s still close to my PB, so I can’t be too annoyed.  It’s hard to replicate having seven other world-class people around you. I can’t be too annoyed at myself!

“I think it [the body] is hurting a bit. This is just a starter meet for the rest of my season. Dave and I agreed that this is the start of the next racing cycle, just post some good times as a starting mark for the summer.”

Jervis Completes Freestyle Treble

dan jervis

Dan Jervis: Photo Courtesy: Georgia Kerr, British Swimming

Jervis, preselected for Budapest in the 1500 following fifth in Tokyo, swam the third-fastest 800 of the year but his time of 7:50.35 was outside the cut.

He did a PB in the 400 but was then disappointed with his 1500 and said:

“The thing about being a distance swimmer is it’s very much a mental game. The way I train, and the people I train with, we train to be world leaders in swimming. Physically, I’m in the best shape of my life. I can honestly say that, people may train as hard as me in the swimming world, but nobody trains harder than me.

“When you have one brilliant swim – my 400m was the best I’ve ever done – and then one not so great swim in the 1500m, it’s very much a mental game then, and it’s how you play that.

“I think I pulled it back around. It wasn’t as quick as I wanted it to be, but I’m really happy with that. It’s the first time I’ve ever had three British titles in one week, so it’s good.”



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2 years ago

Jervis: ‘Nobody trains harder than me.’ What arrogance! How would he know? Mind you, David Davies probably did, still being umpteen seconds faster decades ago….

Katy J
Katy J
2 years ago
Reply to  John

There is nothing arrogant about Dan Jervis.
‘If you have nothing nice to say don’t say it’

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