2019 FINA WORLD AQUATICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
- All sports: Friday, July 12 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- Pool swimming: Sunday, July 21 – Sunday, July 28, 2019
- The Nambu University Municipal Aquatics Center, Gwangju, Korea
- Meet site
- Competition Schedule
- FinaTV Live Stream
- Entry Lists
Jason Lezak‘s was faster, but Duncan Scott‘s was bigger. You already know that Duncan Scott‘s 46.14 anchor leg to lead Great Britain’s men’s 400 medley relay to gold on Sunday is the 2nd-fastest 100 freestyle split in any history, behind only the famous Jason Lezak 46.06 from Lezak. That Lezak split is, and will continue to be, iconic, given that he did it against the French, with whom the US had spun up a big rivalry heading into that meet, and because it preserved Michael Phelps’ quest for a record 8 gold medals in one Olympic Games. On a literal level, Lezak’s swim was immensely more valuable that was Scott’s: Michael Phelps went from “a very wealthy man” to a “generationally wealthy man” after that 8 gold medal performance.
As great and as spine-tingling as that swim was, however, on Sunday, Scott actually made up a bigger deficit, and this time the Americans were on the receiving end. Nathan Adrian, who was a prelims swimmer on that American 400 free relay in Beijing, left the blocks 1.11 seconds ahead of Scott on Sunday, and ultimately finished .55 seconds behind him
Lezak, meanwhile, was a mere .59 seconds behind France’s Alain Bernard when he left the blocks. The scale of Lezak’s comeback looked bigger than it really was because of the way Bernard pulled away from him going into the turn before Lezak clawed back. At the turn, Lezak was .82 seconds behind, which was still smaller than the 1.11 second gap that Scott had to make up.
When asked after the race if the fact that Scott’s split being the 2nd-fastest ever made him feel better about losing the lead, Adrian, in his uniquely Adrian way, smiled and said “no.”
So now maybe we need to consider adding a new verb to our swimming vocabularies. Instead of getting Lezak’ed now swimmers will get Dunc’d on. The two are not quite synonyms – Lezak’ed has a connotation of being insanely exciting, huge in the hugest moment, while Dunc’d is a more utilitarian comeback term – based on ‘scale of the distance’ more than ‘scale of the moment’ (though a World Championship final is certainly still a moment of scale).
Below, watch video of Lezak’s comeback, for the memories. Then, below that, watch video of Scott’s comeback, for the clapback.