With the 2023 European Short Course Championships on the horizon, British Olympic champion Duncan Scott recently spoke to the media about this short-term and long-term vision in the pool.
The versatile 26-year-old will indeed be there in Romania and also has eyes on Doha for February. The unique schedule with the 2024 World Championships set to end just 159 days before the opening of the Paris Olympic Games is something Scott has apparently learned to embrace.
“I quite like changing things for Olympic year,” Scott told Herald Scotland.
“The European Shortcourse isn’t something I’ve ever fully focused on, although I know a lot of swimmers do. A lot of swimmers have performed well there and it’s given them a real stepping-stone to move on.
“So while there’s other competitions this season that are a much bigger priority this season like the World Championships and the Olympic Games next summer. And obviously trying to qualify for the Olympic Games in April so while those are higher priorities for me than the European Shortcourse, I’m still looking forward to it. And knowing I’ll be standing on the blocks in the best suit in the world gives me confidence. (Herald Scotland)
Scott has indeed represented Great Britain at past editions of the European Short Course Championships, already lining his resume with two bronze medals from 2017 Copenhagen and two silvers from 2019 Glasgow.
Implying that he’ll be there in Doha, Scott’s comments are a slight change of tune from when the typically bi-annual competition timeframe was originally announced.
World Aquatics (formerly FINA) revealed the February timeframe in July of 2022 and several British top performers, including Scott, were vocal about the insertion of the event amid the overall international swimming calendar.
At the time, Scotland’s most decorated Commonwealth Games athlete ever asked, “I’d love to know which (if any) athletes were asked about this decision 2023 July Worlds…6 months later…2024 Worlds and then July 2024 Olympics. A totally bizarre decision and one I hope gets reconsidered! Surely just move it to 2025?”
Perhaps the fact that Scott has put in a super solid training block and feels he’s in a good place mentally and physically has fueled his competitive fire, no matter when Worlds takes place.
“My recent training has stood me in really good stead and I’m in a very good place to start the season off,” he told Herald Scotland.
“The intensity I’ve been able to get to in training has been good. I’m not going to pretend I don’t look at the times I’m swimming – I’m an anorak of the sport and I know every fine detail that I want to do and I’m in a really good place right now.
“Last year, this period of time was awful for me – I was ill seven or eight times and that really affected the way I was able to perform in April (at the British Championships) so in contrast this year, it’s been a really good phase of training.”
“I feel in a good place but it’s difficult to really know until I race because I’ve not fully challenged myself in a competitive environment this season yet. So after the Europeans I’ll be able to shine a better light on where I am as I head into the new year.”
British Swimming will announce its squad for the 2024 World Championships by the end of the month.