Commonwealth Games: Scottish swimmer Duncan Scott says he fears nobody

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland on the Gold Coast
Duncan Scott
Duncan Scott says he does not let himself be intimidated by the reputations of his rivals
2018 Commonwealth Games
Venue: Gold Coast, Australia Date: 4-15 April
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, Red Button, Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and mobile app.

Scotland's swimming star Duncan Scott says he fears nobody in his pursuit of medals at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Scott won two relay silvers at the Rio 2016 Olympics and took a huge step forward as an individual athlete at the world championships in Budapest last July.

In illustrious company, the 20-year-old made the finals of both the 100m and 200m freestyle, finishing an eye-catching fifth and fourth.

At the Gold Coast Games he will come up against some of the most celebrated swimmers of recent times, but he will not be cowed by their reputations.

"You think in the world championship final I was looking across the lane being intimidated by them? No," he said.

Adam Peaty
Scott is likely to come up against the in-form Adam Peaty in Australia

"Respect all and fear none. I respect what they've done, and some of us are quite good friends, but when we're next to you in the lanes everything goes out the window. What people achieved before doesn't really matter. It's just down to that race.

"If you ask Adam Peaty, he goes into his races knowing that he's virtually unbeatable. You have to go in with that mentality.

"I've raced (the most decorated Olympian in history) Michael Phelps twice. Standing next to him, I probably gave him a couple more looks than normal, but when you go out there you've got to put it to the back of your mind."

Scott has a heavy programme of events at the Games with the 100m and 200m freestyle, the 200m butterfly, the 200m individual medley as well as three relays.

He is going to compete against some of the most celebrated performers of recent years. Kyle Chalmers, the Australian, and his countryman, Mack Horton, are current Olympic champions.

Their fellow Aussies, James Magnussen, Cameron McEvoy and Mitch Larkin are all storied athletes and on top of that the host nation has an array of youngsters who could prove to be world class.

Scott will also come up against former Olympic champion Chad le Clos. In the Gold Coast, the South African is bidding to become the most successful Commonwealth Games athlete in history. In the relay events, Scott will likely share a pool with the seemingly invincible Peaty at some stage.

Scottish swimmer Duncan Scott outlines his hopes for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games

"They're pretty good," says Scott with a smile. "Not too shabby in the swimming business. Le Clos, if he retired tomorrow, would go down as a legend.

"There are phenomenal swimmers in that group. This is one of the reasons why I swim. I want to race against the best and see what I can do

"I count myself fortunate to be a freestyler. There's vast quality in the events that I'm doing, which is difficult, but I've raced at world championships and I've raced at the Olympic Games, so there's obviously quality there.

"I can't see myself not rising to the occasion. I love competing against the best in the world and that's what I will be doing.

"I'd like to think that most people in Team Scotland would think they can be in and around the medals. We didn't really get selected just to try to make finals."

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