Duncan Scott won Great Britain’s sixth swimming medal of the Games, and the fifth of his own Olympic career, when he finished second behind China’s Wang Shun in the 200m individual medley. It means Scott, 24, is now Britain’s most successful Olympic swimmer since the Edwardian era, and he still has two relay events to go. A few minutes before Scott’s final, his great friend Luke Greenbank, 23, from Cockermouth, won a bronze in the 200m breaststroke, behind Russia’s Evgenty Rylov, who set a new Olympic record of 1min 53.27sec.
Michael Phelps had won the 200m medley race in 2004, 2008, 2012, e 2016. There are swimmers competing here this week who weren’t even born the last time anyone else did, and others who have been waiting for this moment, when they would finally have the chance to race it against someone who was actually beatable. Men like Kosuke Hagino, and Wang, who finished second and third behind Phelps in 2016, and Laszlo Cseh, who won the bronze in 2012. There were others who wanted to take over from Phelps now, the US champion Michael Andrew, the world champion, Daiya Seto.
All five of them were faster than Scott going into the race, but as he said himself afterwards, “not many of them are now”. His time of 1min 55.28 makes him the seventh-fastest in history in the event, which he only took up in 2018. Ancora, he was almost even happier for Greenbank than he was for himself. For Greenbank, who won bronze in this event at the Youth Olympics back in 2014, the bronze here was a reward for sticking with the sport through a difficult few years as he tried to make the leap from junior to senior competition.
Mollie Renshaw and Abbie Wood finished sixth and seventh in the 200m breaststroke, which was won by Tatjana Schoenmaker in a new world record of 2min 18.95sec, while Anna Hopkin was seventh in the 100m freestyle behind Australia’s Emma McKeon.