IT wasn’t a perfect hat-trick. But, as an Alloa Athletic fan, Duncan Scott has learned not to be picky. After day three of the competition on the Gold Coast, this unassuming yet physically imposing 20-year-old already has three bronze medals for his country, with another four chances to join Gregor Tait in the list of Scottish swimmers to rack up four medals at the same games.

Having seen off world champions such as Chad Le Clos and James Guy to steal third place in the 200m freestyle on Friday night, then set Scotland on course for their first ever medal in the 4x100m freestyle relay, yesterday it was time for Scott to overhaul Australia’s Grant Irvine in the final throes to take a fine third place in the 200m butterfly behind South African legend Chad Le Clos and David Morgan of Australia. Just for good measure, Scott topped the day off by qualifying comfortably for another seriously stacked final, today’s 100m freestyle. But then no-one should be surprised by his versatility, not least those who witnessed this Strathallan School pupil once impress all comers with his virtuosity in all four strokes when he won eight gold medals as a teenager at the Scottish Gas Age Group Championships.

By those extraordinary standards, the butterfly is not regarded as Scott’s strongest suit, but he smashed it here, coming back after being seventh, fifth and then fifth again at the end of each 50m length to record a PB of 1.59.60. The only problem, Scott said, was the agonising wait as he waits for the big screen to display what position he has finished.

“This scoreboard is very hard to see,” said Scott “I’m not having a go at the people who have organised it. But every race I’ve finished I’ve not known where I’ve come until I’ve taken my cap and goggles off and seen. Especially as all my races have been ridiculously close so I’ve had to have a good look. You see numbers all over the shop and don’t know where you’ve come. But the 200 fly was something pretty special and I’m really pleased with that performance.”

Scott’s hat trick of third places only becomes more impressive when you consider the physical toll which all these early mornings and late nights at the Optus Aquatic Centre at Southport must be wreaking on his body. And certain people think professional footballers have it tough when they have to play three games in eight days.

“I couldn’t play 90 minutes of football!” said Scott, also a talented tennis player as a teenager. “Myself, Chad and Jimmy [James Guy of England] all had the relay last night, the 4 x 100. Then we had 200 fly first event this morning.

“Myself and Jim and Chad are all probably in the same boat, we got back to the room about quarter to one last night,” he added. “So you need to get yourself down then you’re back to the pool for about 8.30am. The turnaround is quite quick but that’s the way international swimming is.”

There was plenty of praise for his long-time coach Steven Tigg, who apparently was more convinced of the performance Scott had in him than he was. “This is my first time racing 200 fly internationally. It’s a PB. So I’m really pleased with how things have gone and it’s a good indication of where I’m at.”

Ross Murdoch declared himself content after a fifth placed finish in the 100m breaststoke, which saw him break the minute barrier but still finish just over a second behind England’s Adam Peaty, with his nemesis from the 200m breaststroke James Wilby in second and South Africa’s Cameron van der Burgh in third. Peaty’s time was neither a games record nor a world record, with Murdoch’s Scotland team-mate Craig Benson was a further place back in sixth.

“It is kind of hard to get it through your head how fast these guys are,” said Murdoch. “We had a couple of world record holders out there tonight. Cameron van der Burgh is the second fastest man of all time. And Adam is the fastest man ever. Then James Wilby is the man on form. But we’re all just human. I race with these guys and I’m lucky enough to call these guys friends now.. To me, they’re still just Cam, James and Adam.”