Duncan Scott Wins 200 Free For Third Title Of British Champs As James Guy Hails “A Skinnier Version Of Michael Phelps”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 08: Duncan Scott of Great Britain and Michael Phelps of United States are seen during the Men's 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay on Day 4 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Aquatics Stadium on August 9, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Duncan Scott & Michael Phelps, Rio 2016: Photo Courtesy: Ian MacNicol, Scottish Swimming

Duncan Scott beat the Olympic champion to win the 200 free following a British Championships which underlined his all-round excellence and led James Guy to describe him as “like a Michael Phelps – but a skinnier version”.

Olympic silver medallist Scott forged ahead in the final 25m with Tokyo champion Tom Dean on his shoulder after Guy had led for 175m to stop the clock at 1:45.54.

Dean – preselected following Olympic gold – was next home in 1:45.73 with 2015 world champion Guy in 1:46.44.

Only German Lukas Martens has been faster this year with 1:45.44 on Sunday in Stockholm with the British trio occupying two, three and five in the rankings.

It has been a meet that has showcased Scott’s versatility.

A British record of 4:09.18 in the 400IM – a time that would have won gold in Tokyo last year – was followed by a world-leading 1:56.08 in the 200IM.

Then came Sunday’s 200 free title and tributes from his teammates, Guy and Dean, with whom he won the 4×200 relay title in Tokyo, along with Matt Richards who was seventh at Ponds Forge.

James Guy 2022

James Guy: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

Guy told Swimming World:

“You know what? Duncan is a class boy and I admire him a lot, I’ve known him for a long time.

“It’s really hard to see what he does in training and racing – he’s like a Michael Phelps but a skinnier version.

“He is amazing: what he generates from his body is fantastic and without him British swimming would be lost.

“Just the way he can do any event; do my fly for me in the heats of the medley relay at Europeans – he can do it.

“He is one of the backbones of British Swimming so really good.”

Dean concurred, pointing to Scott’s modesty and saying:

“Because he is so modest I don’t think people quite realise how incredible an athlete he is and I think we are very fortunate to be not only racing at the same time but from the same country.

“Up there with your Phelps, your (Ryan) Lochtes and your (Kosuke) Haginos, I can’t think of many with such diversity in the swimming world and at such a high level.

“It is quite incredible: I think we are fortunate to be swimming at the same time as him.”

18th April 2021, London Aquatics Centre, London, England ; 2021 British Swimming Selection Trials

Duncan Scott: Photo Courtesy: Georgie Kerr, British Swimming

Scott for his part was taken aback by Guy’s words, pointing to Phelps’ medal haul with 28 visits to the podium making the American the most decorated Olympian.

Scott left Tokyo with the most medals of any Briton at a single Games with a gold and three silvers.

He told Swimming World:

“To be honest, I would never compare myself to him (Michael Phelps).

“If I can get half the number of medals that he has ever had then we are on to something there.

“He is someone I looked up to loads when I was younger: I was right in that age bracket, the 2008 Olympics was really special.

“Then for me as well the 2007 world champs when he started to dominate on the 200 freestyle was quite special and I always used to watch.

“I don’t think too much of things like that – I am way off what he has ever achieved.

“I guess it’s a nice little compliment but now for me it’s about performing on the world stage.

“I am starting to put together some really good times but how consistent can I be over the next few years with that?”

Greenbank Looks Ahead To Training Block

Luke Greenbank turned on the speed on the third 50 of the 200 back although he couldn’t shake off Brodie Williams alongside him.

The Loughborough swimmer, another of the Mel Marshall stable, led by 0.10 at 150 and maintained his lead to win in 1:57.57 to Williams’ 1:57.90.

Greenbank, preselected following his Tokyo bronze, hobbled down poolside following the race, saying:

“It was quite a tough race: maybe I went out a little bit too hard on the legs. I had Brodie pushing me all the way to the end.

“Nothing special but where I am at the minute coming into this competition it has been far from ideal preparation. I was ill with flu for a couple of weeks and that knocked me back a lot more than I think.

“Just wanted to come here and get some racing exposure and I think that is one of the positives I can take from this week.

“There is a lot to learn but I think a good block of training over the next nine, 10 weeks to the worlds, just a solid block of training, and then I think we’ll be in a good place.”

On Saturday Ben Proud welcomed the challenge of Lewis Burras in the sprint freestyle after years of domination in domestic waters.

Burras won on that occasion but Proud returned to the familiarity of the top of the podium in the 50 fly, in which he won the world title in 2017.

He rose ahead and always held a half body-length lead to take his sixth national title in this event in 23.09 with Jacob Peters next home in 23.47 and Adam Barrett – the 2014 European and Commonwealth medley relay champion – posting a Team England consideration time of 23.80 for the Commonwealth Games.

Laura Stephens led at halfway of the 100 fly in 27.09 to 27.14, an advantage she extended to stop the clock at 58.43 to Harriet Jones’ 59.10 with Keanna Macinnes next home in 59.24.

It saw Stephens leave Sheffield with two titles following 200 fly gold.

In the women’s 100m breaststroke, Imogen Clark led at the turn and was still ahead with 25 to go when Kara Hanlon and Sarah Vasey made their moves.

Hanlon got the touch in 1:07.52 to add to her bronzes in the 50 and 200 ahead of Vasey (1:07.60) and Clark (1:07.63).

Fleur Lewis won the 1500 free title in 16:45.51 after a final-length battle with long-time leader Amber Keegan.

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