THE miracles of modern engineering have reduced the length of the Tollcross International Swimming Centre pool by 50% to allow it to play host to the European Short Course championships this week and this goes down as a half decent start for the three-strong Scottish contingent in the GB team on day one.

With Adam Peaty opting to give it a miss, top billing goes to home favourite Duncan Scott and the Scot didn’t disappoint, the 22-year-old leading off in a Scottish record of 21.25 as the GB 4x50m freestyle squad qualified third fastest for the final then anchoring them home in fourth with a blistering 20.52 split. So used to reeling competitors in during the home straight, how Scott could have done with a few more metres to try to overhaul the Italians for third behind the Russians and the Poles down the stretch.

“It was alright, I don’t think any of us know what a good 4x50m is, so we are happy to take it,” said Scott. “There was no reeling in to do - the boys put me in a great position – although to get on the podium would have been a massive bonus. It is a bit different to what we are used to but we gave it a good shot.”

Also savouring the experience was Scott’s young countryman, and fellow Strathallan School pupil, Scott McLay. While the GB squad were back in seventh after his lead-off leg of 21.61, this young man from Perthshire who is working towards his pilot’s licence can fly, as seen by the PB he recorded yesterday in the 100m butterfly. James Guy and Joe Litchfield were the other two quarters of the group. “I was very happy with that PB and to be able to back it up with this swim tonight was even better,” said McLay.

With Scott back out this morning in the 200m freestyle, not quite such good news was the gauntlet being thrown down by his long-time Lithuanian rival Danas Rapsys. The man who would have taken gold ahead of Sun Yang at this year’s long course world championships and perhaps avoided all the resultant controversy had he not been disqualified for a false start took gold legally in the men’s 400m freestyle in a championship record of 3.33.20, with Britain’s Tom Dean claiming a fine silver medal in his wake.

“Yeah, and he was just a second off the world record,” said Scott. “Deano’s class as well. So first it will be about getting through the heats. Only two Brits will go through so it will be a dogfight.”

While Luke Greenbank was another British medallist on the day, taking bronze in the 200m backstroke, completing the triumvirate of Scottish talent was Ross Murdoch. The boy from the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond was back where his legend was born when he shocked Michael Jamieson for Commonwealth Gold at this venue back in 2014.

Entering the competition for the first time in the 50m breaststroke, Murdoch declared himself happy enough with making the top 10, his time of 26.38 just 0.04 outside his own Scottish record for the event. After a quick feed and an early night, he too will be back out this morning around 10am in his preferred event, the 200m breaststroke. There was little surprise that Russia’s Vladimir Morozov won the 50m honours, in a European record of 25.51.

“That was pretty much as close as it could be to a PB without being a PB,” said Murdoch. “So things are looking pretty good for the rest of the week. I feel very blessed when it comes to having major events in Glasgow. I don’t think the other nations are quite so chuffed, they just wonder why it gets dark so early!”