Scott McLay has grand plans to corral a high-speed Tartan Army with Duncan Scott at the Tokyo Olympics and bring a fistful of golds back to their Stirling base.

With exactly 100 days to go until the Games begin, the UK’s swimmers will swing for spots on the plane to Japan in July when the British trials begin in London on Wednesday morning.

Scott, a double silver medallist in the pool at Rio 2016, is one of just four contenders already pre-selected. His 21-year-old training partner is among the group needing to impress selectors with quick times and strong placings over the next five days.

However McLay believes working intensely beside Alloa’s aquatic juggernaut will give him a priceless edge over his rivals.

“It is very good obviously, being able to train with him, seeing how he's able to swim -because he's one of the fastest non-textile suit swimmers ever with the 46.1 mark he did in the 4x100 relay he did in Gwangju at the 2019 world championships.

“So he's got one of the best-ever freestyle techniques. And I'm able to train with him day in and day out to pick up on anything. Same with having Steven Tigg as my coach and his as well. So I'm getting all the same pointers and I’m heading in the right direction.”

Day 1 of the trials sees Scott start as the clear favourite in the 200 metres individual medley while Scots pair Ross Murdoch and Craig Benson soak up the massive challenge of facing defending Olympic champion Adam Peaty and world silver medallist James Wilby in the 100m breaststroke.

Hannah Miley takes her best swing on her return from shoulder surgery in a bid to make a fourth Olympics in the 400m individual medley, the event where she came an agonising fourth in Rio. And Lucy Hope will look for the swim of her life against Tokyo medal prospect Freya Anderson in the 200m freestyle.

Yet the Games that awaits the best of British will be very different to the fabulous festival of sport that was envisaged before Covid struck. No foreign fans. Strict protocols that will see athletes enter and depart the village as speedily as possible with secure bubbles in place that will render the traditional work-and-then-play atmosphere out of bounds.

McLay had to endure a similar lockdown during the International Swimming League’s walled garden last autumn. That experience has become an asset, the prospect from Perth proclaims.

“I've already had a taster of being cooped up and I know what I need to do in order to get the best out of that situation,” he said. “Plus at Stirling, we're only swimming and then coming back to our accommodation. And then back to the pool.

“It's not like we're going out doing activities or stuff. But I guess nothing is open anywhere right now. So the only time we're really out is if we go for a walk, or if we go to the supermarket to get food.”

The former European junior medallist was granted a place in British Swimming’s main squad prior to last year, signalling expectations from team chiefs that he should be making enough of a splash to earn an Olympic debut. Taken to the 2019 worlds as a relay specialist, he will take three shots at a solo run in Tokyo this week.

And he said: “The mentality I'm going into this trials with is to get that 100 freestyle Olympic time of 48:35 and that that is my goal.  If I don't get that time, but I'm able to go on to the relay team, that's brilliant. To able to swim for Great Britain and to be able to go to an Olympics for the first time would be incredible.”