Duncan Scott (swimmer)

Duncan William MacNaughton Scott (born 6 May 1997) is a British swimmer representing Great Britain at the FINA World Aquatics Championships and the Olympic Games, and Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. An all-rounder in the pool, Scott has swum internationally in 100 and 200 metres freestyle and butterly, and 200 metres individual medley. He has won two golds at the World Championships in 4 x 200 metre freestyle relay, a gold in the 4 x 100 metre medley relay, as well as silvers at the World Championships and Olympics in freestyle and medley relay. Individually, Scott was the 100 metre freestyle champion at the 2015 European Games and 2018 Commonwealth Games, and the 200 metre freestyle champion at the same European Games and the 2018 European Aquatics Championships.

Duncan Scott
Personal information
Full nameDuncan William MacNaughton Scott
National teamGreat Britain
Born (1997-05-06) 6 May 1997
Glasgow[1], Scotland, United Kingdom
Height1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight76 kg (168 lb)
StrokesButterfly, Freestyle, Medley
ClubUniversity of Stirling
CoachSteven Tigg

Winning three gold medals in the (100 m and 200 m freestyle, and 4 × 100 m freestyle relay) at the 2015 European Games,[2] he was the most successful British athlete at the Games.[2] A month later, he formed part of the Great Britain squad that won the gold medal at the 2015 World Aquatics Championships in the men's 4 x 200 metre freestyle relay as the 4th leg swimmer in the heat.[3] In 2016, he was a member of the Great Britain team that won silver in the final of the same event at the Olympic Games as well as the men's 4 x 100 metre medley relay. The same team also won the 4 x 100 metre medley relay silver in the 2017 World Championships. A noted relay swimmer, Scott broke the individual British 200 metre freestyle record leading off in the men's 4 x 200 metre relay, before anchoring the team that won gold in 4 x 100 metre medley relay at the 2019 World Championships.

Early life

Duncan grew up in Alloa,[4][5] moving to Strathallan School on a sport scholarship at the beginning of secondary. He trained daily throughout his high school years. Swimming runs in the family as his older sister Alex was the Woman's swimming captain at the University of Dundee and the president of its Sports Union (2017-2018).


Scott came to public attention when he won eight gold medals at the 2013 Scottish Age Group Championships in Edinburgh.[6] Later that year he competed at the 2013 European Youth Summer Olympic Festival taking gold in the 200 m medley, silvers in the (400 m medley, 4 × 100 m mixed freestyle) and bronze in the 4 × 100 m freestyle.

In July 2014, at the 2014 European Junior Championships, Scott won a gold medal in the (200 m individual medley, 4 × 100 m freestyle) and bronze in the 4 × 200 m freestyle. A few weeks later he won a silver medal in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay with Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.[7] He then competed at the 2014 Youth Olympics in Nanjing taking gold in the 4 × 100 m freestyle (with Luke Greenbank, Miles Munro, and Martyn Walton).

At the inaugural 2015 European Games in Baku (a junior event for swimmers), he won three gold medals in the (100 m freestyle, 200 m freestyle and 4 × 100 m freestyle relay) and three silver medals in the 4 × 200 m freestyle, 4 × 100 m mixed freestyle, and 4 × 100 m medley (with Greenbank, Charlie Attwood, and Walton).[8]


In the 2016 Rio Olympics, he won a silver in the 4 × 200 m freestyle relay with Stephen Milne, James Guy, and Dan Wallace. He also won another silver in the 4 × 100 m medley relay with Chris Walker-Hebborn, James Guy and Adam Peaty.[9] He was placed 5th in the final of the individual men's 100 metres freestyle.


In the 2017 World Aquatics Championships. He won gold in the 4 × 200 m freestyle with James Guy, Stephen Milne and Nick Grainger in a time of seven minutes 1.70 seconds.[10] He won a further silver in the 4 × 100 m medley relay at the World Championship with same Olympic line-up of Walker-Hebborn, Guy and Peaty.[11]


At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Scott won gold in the 100 metre freestyle in a time of 48.02 seconds.[12] He also won four bronze medals at the Games: in the 200m butterfly, 200m freestyle, 4 × 100 m freestyle relay, and 4 × 200 m freestyle relay, and became the first Scottish athlete to win five medals at the same Commonwealth Games.[13][14] He added a sixth medal when he won silver in the 200m individual medley.[15]

At the 2018 European Championships, Scott won a silver in the 100 metre freestyle.[16] Later the same day he won gold as part of the relay team in the 4 × 200 metre freestyle relay with Calum Jarvis, Thomas Dean and James Guy.[17] He also won gold in the 200 metre freestyle, despite only having just made the final in 8th place.[18] He added a third gold in the final day of the championships, winning the men's 4 × 100 metre medley relay as part of the British team with Adam Peaty, James Guy and Nicholas Pyle.[19]

On 13 September he was named Scottish Sportsperson of the Year at the Team Scotland Scottish Sports Awards.[20]


At the 2019 World Aquatics Championships held in Gwangju, South Korea, Scott came joint fourth in the 200 m freestyle, but the first-placed finisher Danas Rapšys was disqualified for a false start, and Scott was awarded a bronze medal together with Martin Malyutin.[21] At the medal ceremony, Scott refused to shake hands or share the podium with the gold medallist Sun Yang, who had previously been banned for a drug offence in 2014 for three months and was involved in an ongoing doping case controversy, which resulted in angry scenes at the ceremony. This followed a similar act a few days previously by Australian Mack Horton, who labelled Sun a "drug cheat". Both Yang and Scott were given official warnings from FINA; Scott was subjected to death threats from Sun's fans on social media.[22][23]

In the lead-off leg in the men's 4 × 200 m freestyle relay final, Scott broke the British national record with a time of 1:44:91; the team finished fifth in the race. In the men's 4 × 100 metre medley relay together with Adam Peaty, James Guy and Luke Greenbank, he swam the anchor leg in 46.14 seconds, the second fastest freestyle relay split of all time,[24] and the fastest in textile. He managed to overcome a 1.11 second deficit to finish in front of the United States team, thereby winning Britain's first gold medal in the event in the World Championships in a European record time of three minutes, 28.10 seconds.[25]

See also


  1. Swimming programme limited to juniors - doubled up as the 2015 European Junior Swimming Championships


  1. "Duncan Scott". SwimSwam. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  2. "World Championships: Duncan Scott tipped to add to medal haul". BBC. 21 July 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  3. "World Swimming Championships: Britain win 4x200m relay gold". BBC. 7 August 2015. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  4. The best is yet to come for Alloa swimmer Scott, Stirling News, 7 February 2017
  5. Duncan Scott ready for the next step of going it alone for world gold, The National, 20 July 2019
  6. "Swimming: Scott has eight golds and he wants more". The Scotsman. 23 April 2013. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  7. "Glasgow 2014: Scotland secure silver in men's 4x200m relay". BBC. 27 July 2014. Retrieved 8 August 2015.
  8. "Duncan Scott The Scot Delivers Gold For Britain With Dominant 49.4 Two-Lapper". swimvortex. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  9. Goodwin, Stuart (14 August 2016). "Team GB's medley relay silver brings up best Olympic swimming haul since 1908". The Guardian.
  10. Hope, Nick (28 July 2017). "World Swimming Championships: Great Britain claim gold in 4x200m freestyle". BBC Sport.
  11. Hope, Nick (30 July 2017). "World Swimming Championships: Adam Peaty helps GB to men's 4x100m medley silver". BBC Sport.
  12. "Commonwealth Games: Duncan Scott wins 100m freestyle swimming gold". BBC Sport. 8 April 2018.
  13. "Commonwealth Games: Duncan Scott and Siobhan-Marie O'Connor claim swimming gold". BBC Sport. 8 April 2018.
  14. Smith, Duncan (7 April 2018). "Commonwealth Games: Third bronze for Scots swimmer Duncan Scott". The Scotsman.
  15. "Commonwealth Games: Scotland's Duncan Scott takes medal tally to six". BBC Sport. 10 April 2018.
  16. "Scott powers to 100m freestyle silver". BBC Sport. 5 August 2018.
  17. "Duncan Scott, James Guy Propel Great Britain to Men's 4×200 Free Relay Win". Swimming World Magazine. 5 August 2018.
  18. "Duncan Scott Stuns Field from Lane Eight for 200 Free Win at European Champs". Swimming World. 7 August 2018.
  19. "European Championships 2018: Adam Peaty & Ben Proud win gold for GB". BBC Sport. 9 August 2018.
  20. "Duncan Scott's Record Year Sees Him Named Scottish Sportsperson of the Year". Team Scotland. 13 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  21. "World Aquatics Championships: Duncan Scott wins 200m freestyle bronze as Sun Yang takes gold". BBC Sport. 23 July 2019.
  22. "'I don't know why he's here': Adam Peaty backs Scott's decision to snub Sun Yan". The Guardian. Reuters. 23 July 2019.
  23. Schofield, Daniel (23 July 2019). "Duncan Scott sent death threats after refusing to shake hands with 'drug cheat' Sun Yang". The Telegraph.
  24. Byrnes, Liz (28 July 2019). "Scott Splits 46.14 To Overhaul Adrian As Great Britain Take Gold in 4×100 Medley Relay: Russia Third". Swimming World.
  25. Field, Pippa (28 July 2019). "Adam Peaty: Winning relay world title with Great Britain 'better than Olympic gold'". The Telegraph.
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