Duncan Scott lapped up his finest hour as swimming’s world championships ended in Gwangju on Sunday after the Scot brilliantly anchored Great Britain’s men to 4x100 medley gold.

The 22-year-old was almost a half-second faster than anyone else on the closing freestyle leg to charge past the USA and Russia and help set a European record of 3:28.10.

It took GB’s total in the pool in South Korea to seven medals with relay team-mate Adam Peaty landing his third gold and Luke Greenbank, James Guy and Scott doubling their hauls following individual bronzes.

And despite a breakthrough charge to third place in the 200m freestyle last week, ending the USA’s unbeaten record in his final event topped the lot, the Stirling University star claimed.

“Individually, it’s always great to medal internationally,” Scott said. “I’ve only done it a limited number of times. Last year and this year are the first times I’ve done that. But that was such a big swim for myself. I dropped a lot from my fastest-ever relay split. To dethrone the Americans for the first time, for us to beat them, I’ve got to put that down as my best swim.

“To do it in a relay as well, I always love representing Great Britain. The boys come together really well, with the 4x 200 in past years and now this as well. It’s always pretty special to be part of these teams.”

A chunk of the credit went to Peaty, who overturned an early deficit to swim his breaststroke leg in 57.2 seconds before Guy held onto Caeleb Dressel on the butterfly. But the American star, who became the first man to win eight medals at a single championships, missed out on a seventh gold as Scott blitzed his two lengths in 46.14 secs to secure the shock win.

“I thought Jimmy could hold his ground and as soon as Duncan dived in I thought ‘we’re going to get bronze’,” admitted Peaty. “With 25m to go I was jumping up and down like never before and the last 10 metres he just got his head down and took him out. For me, that’s better than Olympic gold and anything else, as when you do it as a team, and the fact the Americans have never been beaten in this event I don’t think, it’s just amazing.”

GB’s women secured their 2020 Olympic spot despite coming eighth in their 4x100 medley final as the USA won in a world record of 3:50.40 with teen star Regan Smith setting a world best of 57.57 secs on the backstroke leg.

Stirling University’s Aimee Willmott exited the women’s 400m individual medley in the semi-finals with Hungary’s Katinka Hosszu claiming her fifth world title in the event.

Japan’s Daiyo Seto doubled his golden haul in the men’s 400IM with Max Litchfield disappointed with his seventh place. “That’s not good enough for me, nowhere near,” the Englishman, 24, said. “We’ll have to look back at the race and see what we need to change and what we need to work on, but I’ve had a great year and it’s tough to not see the results I should be getting.”

Anna Hopkin came seventh in the 50m freestyle final as the USA’s Simone Manuel matched her title in the 100m. It helped the Americans to lead the swimming standings on 27 medals with GB in seventh place overall, hitting the target of seven set by UK Sport.