IT was the kind of drookit and dark December day where outdoor swimming seemed a viable option in one of the giant puddles collecting nearby. Inside, in the relative safety of Tollcross International Swimming Centre, it wasn’t exactly a deluge of medals for Great Britain on day two of the LEN European Short Course swimming championships, but there was at least a steady trickle. And it was no surprise at all to find one Scot leading the charge as usual.

When Duncan Scott finished the morning’s heats as the fastest qualifier in both the 200m freestyle – fully a second inside James Guy’s British record - and the 400m individual medley, it seemed possible this streamlined 22-year-old from Clackmannanshire would be walking off into the night with two more European gold medals to add to the five already in his cabinet.

Instead he had to settle for silver in the 200m freestyle, his time of 1.41.42 three tenths down on his Lithuanian rival Danas Rapsys, who came on strong in the last 25m to rack up his second gold medal of the meet. While Scott was minorly disappointed he couldn’t quite reach the heights of the morning, it was still the second fastest he has ever completed this event.

“It would be disappointing not to go faster in the final if that was your priority,” said Scott, already the continental long course champion at 200m freestyle, a mark recorded from lane eight in this very pool back in August. “But that’s not really the way I’m looking at this event. I wouldn’t have gone 1:40 this morning if I was looking to focus on the final and I maybe wouldn’t have done the 400IM either. I’m here to challenge myself. Although there is a little bit in you that goes ‘my personal best would have won’.”

European final on home soil or not, Scott has bigger fish to fry as he goes into Olympic year. While the timings would have been tight – only eight minutes separated it from the 200m freestyle medal ceremony - no clearer indication of that he then skipped the 400 IM final altogether.

He may not have won a gold medal but Christmas is a time of giving and Scott might just have made one for his GB team-mate Max Litchfield, who took 400IM glory in a time of 4.01.36. “It’s disappointing he pulled out because it would have been a great race,” said Litchfield. “But we’ve both got our own individual programmes.”

According to Murdoch, Scott’s friend and Stirling Uni training partner, the main priority this week is learning, as Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story might say, how “to die with style”. That means how to battle the lactic in the closing stages of finals when the muscles in your arms and legs are screaming at you to stop due to your exertions.

He was buzzing last night - even if, second placed through 150m in the 200m breaststroke, he was unable to hold off the tide late on and finished seventh behind Arno Kamminga of the Netherlands. In contrast to Scott’s, his time in the final was a second quicker than his heat, just outside his PB. He has another shot at a medal in the 100m breaststroke which begins today.”Knowing I can identify problems in a heat swim and sort them out in a matter of hours gives me a lot of confidence,” said Murdoch.

The final phase of Scott’s plan was to see him join forces with Murdoch in the mixed relay but a touch of cramp put paid to that. Instead young Scott McLay anchored the Brits to seventh. Georgia Davies, on the lead leg here, had the consolation of a bronze in the 100m backstroke.