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Scotland flier Duncan Scott dips toes in Phelps territory

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Duncan Scott
Scotland’s Duncan Scott competes during the swimming men’s 200m individual medley qualifications during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Optus Aquatic Centre in the Gold Coast on April 10. -- AFP

GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA — Scottish flier Duncan Scott, who captured a stunning Commonwealth Games 100 metres freestyle gold at the weekend, stepped out of his comfort zone to reach Tuesday’s 200m individual medley final.

The 20-year-old won his heat in the fourth fastest time overall on the final day of the Gold Coast swimming in his first attempt at an event Michael Phelps used to own, bagging gold at the last four Olympics.

“I had a day off yesterday to get my head together, put the 100m free to the side and try and step up and do something new,” Scott told AFP after clocking two minutes, 0.44 second.

“I’ve never competed in this event, I’m learning every time I do it,” he added, after finishing behind Aussies Mitch Larkin and Clyde Lewis and countryman Daniel Wallace on the time sheets.

Scott produced the upset of the six-day Commonwealth Games swimming meet by edging out Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers and South African superstar Chad le Clos in the sport’s blue riband event, but has yet to properly celebrate.

“I had to put it to bed and try to get some sleep,” smiled Scott, who has also pocketed three bronze medals in a breakout meet. “I’ll celebrate after tonight.”

Australia’s Ariarne Titmus qualified fastest for the women’s 400m freestyle final in 4:10.22 as she closes in on a third gold medal of the Games at the age of just 17.

“Felt good, but a bit rough after last night,” said the Tasmanian-born teenager, the morning after storming to victory in the 800m free.

“I didn’t feel as fresh in the heat as I would like to. I just tried to save as much energy as possible and get through,” added Titmus, whose grandparents have melted hearts at the pool for their exuberant celebrations of her swims.

“Tonight is the main event, so I’m going to rest up as best I can today and try and do a good one.”

Australia topped qualifying for the men’s 4x100m medley relay as the hosts look to underline their swimming dominance on the final day in the pool.

They clocked 3:33.61 to beat England by more than three seconds and are likely to unleash the likes of Chalmers and Larkin in the final.

England are expected to bring in Adam Peaty, Ben Proud and James Guy in the traditional swim grand finale.

Le Clos will also look to cap a superb week in the medley relay after completing a butterfly treble to become the most decorated swimmer in Commonwealth Games history. — AFP