GREAT SCOTT STANDS ALONE

But five-star Dun­can is quick to credit team as he makes his­tory

Scottish Daily Mail - - Com­mon­wealth Games - JOHN GREECHAN

UN­RI­VALLED. Without equal. In a po­si­tion to add to his record-break­ing tally. And per­haps just the tini­est bit un­com­fort­able with the at­ten­tion.

Dun­can Scott is all of the above, his star­ring role in Team Scot­land con­firmed when he won 100me­tres freestyle gold and a bronze in the 4x200m freestyle re­lay last night.

Medals num­ber four and five meant he has now won more in a sin­gle Com­mon­wealth Games than any other Scot. Ever.

Quite some­thing, even on a day when the team landed eight medals in to­tal.

Typ­i­cally, he was quick to pay trib­ute to the re­lay team-mates who had helped him bag two of his his­toric haul, while shy­ing away from the idea that he had be­come the new face of Scot­tish men’s swim­ming — fol­low­ing in the wake of such cham­pi­ons as Michael Jamieson and Ross Mur­doch.

Scott, who still has the 200m in­di­vid­ual med­ley and 4x100m med­ley re­lay to come in the clos­ing ses­sions to­mor­row, sees his suc­cess as a nat­u­ral by-prod­uct of yet another wave of Scot­tish tal­ent break­ing through.

‘You know, that’s the sec­ond medal I’ve picked up in a re­lay event,’ said the 20-year-old Glaswe­gian. ‘So I couldn’t have the medal count I do without the teams I’ve been swim­ming with.

‘The re­lay depth we’ve got in Scot­land at the mo­ment is phe­nom­e­nal. There are boys who have been left out of this team who could eas­ily have stepped in — and you wouldn’t have no­ticed the dif­fer­ence. Like­wise with the 4x100 re­lay.

‘So it’s re­ally pos­i­tive for Scot­land that we’re medalling in re­lay events.

‘The Games aren’t fin­ished yet. It’ll de­pend on how we fin­ish, what that does for our rep­u­ta­tion. But re­gard­less of how other na­tions see us, we know our­selves how good we are and what we can do.

‘These Games, at the start, we just sort of built into it and have shown what we can do, how we can de­liver.

‘We’ve got a fairly young team and that’s a great pos­i­tive for the fu­ture.

‘We’ve def­i­nitely got some younger swim­mers back home ready to fill some shoes or push to get on the team. Scot­tish swim­ming is in a great place right now.’

On his place in the his­tory books, Scott in­sisted: ‘It’s not some­thing I’d thought about be­fore. This is the first time I’ve re­ally thought about it, to be hon­est.

‘I don’t know if I’m the face. If I am, then great. But we have so many dif­fer­ent faces in Scot­tish swim­ming who can com­pete at such a high level — it doesn’t mat­ter who it is.

‘We’ll strive to do the best and that’s why Scot­tish swim­ming is in such a good place right now.’

Scott cre­ated a sen­sa­tion at the Op­tus Aquatic Cen­tre with one of the most spec­tac­u­lar clos­ing bursts of these Games, his fi­nal ten me­tres mov­ing him be­yond the great Chad le Clos — af­ter he had been down in sixth at the half­way point.

He spoke af­ter­wards of ‘hunt­ing’ the South African down. And it felt a bit like a blood sport, watch­ing a great Olympian tie up as the young Scot closed in.

Big-game fish­ing surely never gets as ex­cit­ing as watch­ing our boy har­poon this par­tic­u­lar whale.

With a block of Scot­land fans clad in blue in the south stand — the far end of the pool from the start and fin­ish­ing blocks — the medal cer­e­mony was al­ways go­ing to be a lit­tle nois­ier than you would ex­pect for the av­er­age ‘vis­it­ing’ na­tion.

And the lap of hon­our took a while, as Scott paused to em­brace ev­ery sin­gle team-mate and of­fi­cial who had gath­ered at pool­side to con­grat­u­late him.

Le Clos was the first per­son in the pool to em­brace his con­queror, Scott of­fer­ing a nod to­wards the great man’s fa­mously ef­fu­sive fa­ther — for­ever re­mem­bered for the in­ter­view he gave to the BBC’s Clare Bald­ing at Lon­don 2012 — by say­ing: ‘Oh, he’s a great guy. He was first to con­grat­u­late me. He’s the first guy in the call room to say good luck.

‘He’s just a great sports­man. He is un­be­liev­able — as his dad said! He’s an in­cred­i­ble ath­lete for the sport. He’s beaten one of the GOATs (great­est of all time) Michael Phelps.

‘He’s build­ing his own legacy. He re­ally is an ex­tra­or­di­nary ath­lete.

‘I maybe left it a bit too late in the race! Even my coach was on the edge.

‘I was just try­ing to race Chad next to me, be­cause I couldn’t see past him. I was a bit be­hind at 50 and even at 75, so I was just try­ing to catch him. He goes out re­ally

Dif­fer­ent class: Scott punches the air af­ter claim­ing 100me­tres freestyle gold and (in­set, sec­ond right) show­ing off his fifth medal of these Games, bronze in the 4x200m freestyle re­lay with Stephen Milne, Mark Szaranek and Dan Wal­lace

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