Duncan Scott To Focus Solely On 200IM In Fukuoka Due To 100 Free Scheduling Clash; Set For Maiden Meeting With Leon Marchand

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

Duncan Scott will focus solely on the 200m individual medley in addition to relays at next month’s World Championships in Fukuoka due to a scheduling clash with the 100 free.

Scott – who became the most decorated athlete at a single Olympics in British history when he won four medals in Tokyo – had qualified for the two-length freestyle as well as the short medley.

However, the heats of the two events are scheduled back-to-back on the morning of 26 July with the semis that evening and the finals on the 27th meaning a choice had to be made.

Scott will contest the 200IM, in which he won Olympic silver in Tokyo behind Wang Shun, replicating his second-placed finish behind British teammate Tom Dean in the 200 free although fourth at the British trials means there’ll be no outing in the latter.


Duncan Scott: Photo Courtesy: Peter H. Bick

Coached by Steve Tigg at the University of Stirling, Scott said on a British Swimming media call:

“Unfortunately my two events are on the exact same day – classic – so I’ll be doing 2IM as my only individual.

“The 100 free’s there but I’m going to have to step aside for that: that event’s moved on a wee bit and my 48 zero’s not going to get much there. I’ll need to do a wee PB – I think 47 mid will probably put you in good stead.

“So 2IM and then for me it’s going to be a real relay focus thereafter (4×100 on day 1, 4×2 and then hopefully mixed 4×1 free).”

It’ll be a less busy schedule than normal for Scott, who said:

“I’m really excited to try out just one individual event. At Commies or Olympics, I’m swimming ten plus times in a week so it’ll be interesting to see how I fare just doing the one.

“I might feel fresher, you never know. This might be the new way.

“Will I feel fresher and come the later rounds, will I feel better than doing loads of events?”

Marchand, Wang And A Quality Field Awaits

Awaiting Scott in the 200IM will be a stellar field.

Wang heads the 2023 rankings with his 1:55.55 from last month’s Chinese Nationals ahead of Leon Marchand who won the title in Budapest last year in 1:55.22, just 0.04 outside Laszlo Cseh’s 2009 European record of 1:55.18.

Marchand has created ripples of excitement throughout the swimming world over the last year with his performances across both the 200 and 400IM as well as his 2:06.59 sabre-rattler in the 200 breaststroke at last week’s French Championships.

MARCHAND Leon FRA Gold Medal ER 400m Individual Medley Men Final Swimming FINA 19th World Championships Budapest 2022 Budapest, Duna Arena 18/06/22 Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

Leon Marchand: Photo Courtesy: Photo Andrea Staccioli / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

The Frenchman has a best of 1:55.68 this year – second behind Wang while Scott sits seventh in 1:56.72, behind Dean (1:56.65).

Scott has yet to race Marchand, who finished 18th, 0.15 outside the semis, in Tokyo while the Briton withdrew from Budapest 2022 as he recovered from Covid where the Frenchman was joined on the podium by Carson Foster and Daiya Seto.

Looking ahead, he said:

“Leon – he’s not actually someone I’ve raced before so I am looking forward to that a lot, going head to head with him.

“I think Carson Foster will be really good again this year and the other American whichever it will be – I think that’s going to be a cracking race at their trials – you’ve got Carson, Chase Kalisz, Michael Andrew if he does it, Shaine Casas – all of them are white hot at 2IM so it’s going to be quite exiting.

“Deano (Tom Dean) obviously and a few others: I think the 2IM is going to be interesting to see what happens once we get to it.

“There was no medallists from the Tokyo Olympics that medalled at World Champs so it’s going to be real interesting when it gets to worlds this year.”

Scott Still Hungry For 200 Free

Scott finished outside the 200 free medals at the British trials in April behind Matt Richards, Dean and James Guy, the quartet who made up the gold-medal winning 4×2 squad in Tokyo.

The 26-year-old won bronze at his last World Championships at Gwangju 2019, when he refused to pose for medal-winners’ photographs with Sun Yang before the now-banned Chinese unleashed his anger for all the world to see.

He’s won European and Commonwealth titles over four lengths but will now find himself in the unaccustomed position of looking on as Richards and Dean contest the individual before reuniting for the relay in which they won bronze last year.

Duncan Scott Tom Dean

Tom Dean & Duncan Scott: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

Scott said:

“At the start of the season, I didn’t sit here wanting not to swim the 200m free.

“But that’s the beauty I guess of the British Championships; we’ve got such good depth in the 200m free, and other events, that you’ve got to be at your very best at the trials. I fell short of that and that’s fine.

“So this is going to be a good opportunity to try out doing just one individual event and I’m looking forward to that – it’s going to be quite an exciting and quite a unique experience for me.

“There’ll be a real relay focus on some days and then all-in for the 200m IM which is kind of cool.”

He added:

“I’ll just need to wait and see how this year goes. I’ve not lost any ambition in the 200m free at all, if anything, it’s made me hungrier because I want to get back in there.

“That’s the beauty of the 200m free in Britain – people are fighting for places. I think Matt and Deano are going to do a superb job and it’ll be really good to watch them go head-to-head internationally but also see how they fare against the best from around the world too.”

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