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GOLD COAST (AUSTRALIA) (AFP) –
Scotland’s Duncan Scott produced the biggest upset of the Commonwealth Games swimming on Sunday when he captured gold in the men’s 100 metres freestyle in a nail-biting finish.
The slender 20-year-old mowed down Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers and South African superstar Chad le Clos with a sizzling last 25 metres to win in 48.02 seconds.
Scott, who had already picked up three bronze medals in the Gold Coast pool, punched the water and let out a roar of delight after winning Scotland’s first-ever Commonwealth title in swimming’s blue riband event.
“I’m speechless, it doesn’t happen very often,” said Scott, whose skinny build belies his ferocious competitive spirit.
“I just stuck to what I’m good at and that’s bringing it home, so I just stayed quite composed and let Chad le Clos go out and try to hunt him down.”
“I’ve raced Chad a few times and it’s safe to say he’s came out more times than me on top,” he added, after winning Scotland’s first swimming gold in Australia.
“He’s beaten the god of swimming, Michael Phelps — and I’m sure he’s going to become a great himself if he’s not already a great.”
Scott revealed that le Clos, who is chasing a butterfly treble in Australia, had been the first to shake his hand after the final.
“He was the first person to say congratulations to me,” said Scott.
“He’s an awesome gentleman and one that a sport like swimming really needs. It’s good to beat him but he’s an incredible athlete.”
Le Clos and Australian Chalmers tied for silver in 48.15.
“It’s unbelievable, I’m very proud,” said the South African.
“Fair play to Duncan. I could see him coming from behind me and it was like ‘please no, please no!’ But it’s a personal best time for me so you can’t complain.”
Earlier, Kylie Masse completed a backstroke double when the stormed to gold in the women’s 200m in a Games record 2:05.98.
The 100m world champion led a Canadian one-two from teenage sensation Taylor Ruck (2:06.42), who pocketed her sixth medal of a breakout meet, while Australia’s Emily Seebohm took bronze.
Australian Cate Campbell qualified quickest for the women’s 100m freestyle in a Games record 52.64, ahead of Ruck and sister Bronte Campbell, as she chases her third gold of the competition.
Olympic champion Adam Peaty followed his 100m breaststroke gold by topping qualifying for the one-lap final in a Games-record 26.49, almost half-a-second quicker than defending champion Cameron van der Burgh.
by Alastair HIMMER
© 2018 AFP