Four years ago, going into Glasgow 2014, Stephen Milne was a relative unknown outwith the swimming world. Now, with his Gold Coast 2018 beginning tomorrow, he is an Olympic medallist, a world champion and one of Team Scotland’s brightest medal hopes in Australia.

It is quite a turnaround, but one that Milne is entirely unfazed by.

The 23-year-old freestyler from Perth has proven his versatility in the past, competing in the 100m right up to the 1500m. But it is in the 4x200m freestyle relay that Milne and his compatriots have the chance to do something very special at the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

Milne, along with his Duncan Scott, Dan Wallace and plus a fourth swimmer have an excellent opportunity to win relay gold, something that is almost unheard of for a country of Scotland’s size, particularly when up against powerhouses of the sport such as hosts Australia, as well as England.

Milne, Scott and Wallace were all part of the GB team that won silver in the 4x200m relay at the Rio Olympics, as well as the Scottish team that won silver in the Commonwealth Games four years ago, defeating England but being pipped to gold by Australia.

But there is much excitement within the swimming world as to what this relay can do in Gold Coast and while Milne refuses to get too caught up in the hype, he is well aware that they have the potential to grab a spot on the podium, perhaps even the top step.

“I’m very excited for the relay," he said.

"We’ve got a bunch of very good guys at the moment but every other nation is getting stronger year on year too so there’s not going to be any easy races, that’s for sure. But when the time comes, we’ll be ready for it and we’ll give it our very best shot. The outcome will take care of ourselves but we’re all super-determined to put in our best performance."

Milne is currently in good form. Last month, he became British champion in the 200m freestyle and goes into Gold Coast 2018 with the belief that he can mix it with the very best.

A warm-weather training camp in Australia earlier this year helped his preparations move along nicely and also gave him a taste for what is in store at the Commonwealth Games.

“I got some really good, hard training done," he said of his Australian camp.

It definitely gave me a taste of what Gold Coast is going to be like and being with the team was great so it was a bit of a dry run."

Milne could be forgiven for suffering from some considerable nerves ahead of Gold Coast 2018 considering the expectation upon his shoulders but rather than see that as a negative, Milne has turned that anticipation into a positive. “I’m not sure I’d say I feel nervous leading up to a major championships – I’ve always been told that it’s not actually nerves, it’s just your body getting ready to be at its very best so that’s how I look at it. so I look at it as excitement rather than nerves – this is what I train for day in, day out after all and so it’s great being able to test myself against the very best in the world.”

Mine is just one of a considerable number of Scottish swimmers who have a very real chance of getting their hands on some silverware. With the likes of Hannah Miley, Ross Murdoch, as well as Milne’s freestyle teammates also eyeing a spot on the podium, Scottish swimming is as strong as it has been in a long time.

And that, believes Milne, is working wonders for the squad as a whole.

“I do think we’re all dragging each other up a level," he said.

"Just making the Scottish team is not easy so you have to make sure that you raise your game even just for the trials. But that’s good because it pushes us all on and it makes sure that no complacency sets in because you need to be at your very best to even make the team in the first place. So I think the whole team is in a really strong position.”