DUNCAN SCOTT may have written himself into the record books in Tokyo by becoming GB’s most decorated Olympian at one Games, but he is in no doubt that he is yet to hit his peak. 

The 24-year-old’s showing in Tokyo last month was nothing short of exceptional; three silver medals, plus gold in the 4x200m relay in Britain’s first win in the event in over a hundred years was a remarkable week’s work. 

Scott swam faster than he ever had too, which is no mean feat on the biggest stage of them all. 

However, in the immediate aftermath of the Games, Scott talked of having mixed emotions about his results in Tokyo. 

It is, perhaps, understandable; he missed out on gold in the 200m freestyle by a mere 0.04 seconds and gold in the 200m individual medley by only 0.28 seconds, results which highlight as pertinently as any just how fine the margins are at the very highest level of sport.  


And the GB quartet missed out on a world record in the final of the 4x200m freestyle relay by three hundredths of a second which, at the time, Scott described as “gutting”. 

But having had a few weeks to reflect on his successes this summer – his tally of Olympic medals now stands at six following his two relay medals in Rio – the University of Stirling swimmer is far more satisfied with his results in Tokyo than his initial reaction conveyed. 

“The interviews straight after your race are your initial reaction and as an athlete, you want to win. I tried to answer as honestly as possible and yeah, I admitted I had mixed emotions,” he says.  

“But if I’d been told the times I was going to swim, I’d have taken them in a shot. So I’ve got to be really proud with what I’ve done.” 

A post-Olympic come-down is nothing unusual; most athletes feel a sense of anti-climax or the like when the event their entire life has revolved around for years is all of a sudden, over.  

And despite Scott’s new-found, exalted position as Britain’s most decorated Olympian at one Games, he was far from immune to such a comedown. 

“The aftermath of these Olympics has been really odd because it’s been so different to anything before,” he says. 

“First of all, with what I was able to do in the pool but then within about 36 hours of finishing racing, I was back in my flat in Stirling, which was probably the strangest thing.  

“The first week back home was really difficult. Watching the rest of the Olympics was great but I think everyone has been in the same boat and it’s been a weird come down.  

“It’s those classic Olympic blues; you love being a part of it, you love your apartment in the Athletes’ Village and then you come home and you’re like oh, that’s it over.” 


 Scott is well aware that turning his attention too quickly to the next Olympic cycle is likely to be detrimental but this hasn’t prevented his thoughts already occasionally drifting to the future. 

He has already ventured back into the pool, albeit for nothing more than a few gentle sessions so far, but he is well aware that the coming period presents a wealth of opportunities for him. 

Next year sees the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Europeans all squeezed into one jam-packed few months and with the Paris Olympics only three years away, there will be little time to relax. 

And with, he believes, faster times still to come, the future certainly looks bright for Scott. 

“It’s about finding the balance between enjoying what you’ve done and starting to look forward to what’s next,” he says.  

“If I keep improving, I’ll keep winning medals. Where I am in the world, time-wise, if I’m able to keep improving then there’s not many people in the world who are able to deliver what I can. 

“The whole thought process at Stirling is about continuous improvement and how I can always get the best out of myself. 

“But it’s also being honest about what I can improve on, what I could have done differently in a swim and what I didn’t deliver correctly.  

“So yes, I definitely think I can get better.” 

For Scott, still in only his mid-twenties, to have already collected six Olympic medals is something never previously done in this country. The past few weeks have seen him compared to some of his childhood idols and that, he admits, is bizarre.  


It is likely though that, all going well, Scott has quite some time at the top of his sport remaining, although he won’t reveal quite how many Olympic medals he believes he can end up with. 

First, perhaps, he needs to get used to being called one of this country’s Olympic greats. 

“People like Chris Hoy, Andy Murray, Katherine Grainger are people I used to sit at home watching and I really looked up to them when I was watching the 2008, 2012 Olympics so to be now mentioned with them is pretty crazy.  

“I’d never chuck my name in the same bracket as them so when other people do, it’s very strange,” he says.  

“As to how many Olympics I’ve got left in me, I really don’t know.  

“When you look at the depth and the quality within British swimming, I don’t think I can look past Paris because so much can happen.”