Gold Coast (Australia) (AFP) – Scotland’s Duncan Scott punched well above his weight by bagging a stunning Commonwealth Games gold in the men’s 100 metres freestyle on Sunday in the biggest swimming upset so far.
In a frantic finish, the slender 20-year-old mowed down Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers and South African superstar Chad le Clos with a sizzling last 25 metres to win in 48.02 seconds.
Later, Australian flyer Cate Campbell romped to her third title of the Games in the women’s 50m butterfly as the host nation finished the day on 12 swimming gold medals — well clear of second-placed England’s five.
Scott, who had already pocketed three bronze medals in the Gold Coast pool, slapped the water and let out a roar of delight after flooring heavyweights le Clos and Chalmers to win Scotland’s first-ever Commonwealth title in swimming’s blue riband event.
“I’m speechless, it doesn’t happen very often,” said Scott, whose skinny build belies a ferocious competitive spirit.
“I just stuck to what I’m good at and that’s bringing it home, so I just stayed quite composed and let Chad le Clos go out and tried to hunt him down.”
“He’s beaten the god of swimming, Michael Phelps,” added Scott after winning his country’s first swimming gold in Australia.
“And I’m sure he’s going to become a great himself, if he’s not already a great.”
Scott revealed that le Clos, who is chasing a butterfly treble in Australia, had been the first to shake his hand.
“He was the first person to say congratulations,” said Scott.
“He’s an awesome gentleman and one that a sport like swimming really needs. It’s good to beat him but he’s an incredible athlete.”
Le Clos and Australian Chalmers tied for silver in 48.15.
– ‘Please no, please no!’ –
“It’s unbelievable, I’m very proud,” said le Clos.
“Fair play to Duncan. I could see him coming from behind and it was like ‘please no, please no!’ But it’s a personal best time for me so you can’t complain.”
Golden girl Campbell romped to victory in the 50m fly, clocking 25.59 after winning the 50m free and helping set a world record in the 4x100m final earlier in the meet.
“I’m really stoked with that one,” she said, after leading an Aussie clean sweep.
“I picked up the 50m butterfly as a bit of a joke towards the end of last year for World Cups — then I qualified for Commonwealth Games and it suddenly didn’t become such a joke.”
Olympic champion Adam Peaty backed up his 100m breaststroke gold by topping the qualifying for the one-lap final in a Games record of 26.49.
Elsewhere, Kylie Masse completed a backstroke double by storming to gold in the women’s 200m in a Games record of 2:05.98.
The 100m world champion led a Canadian one-two from teenage sensation Taylor Ruck (2:06.42), who pocketed her sixth medal of a breakout meet, as Australia’s Emily Seebohm took bronze.
Australian Mitch Larkin added the 50m backstroke crown to the 100m he won last week, while the home team set another Games record to win the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay, anchor leg Mack Horton stopping the clock in 7:05.97.