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Team GB celebrates greatest ever Olympics in the swimming pool with silver medal in 4x100m medley relay

·3 min read
 (Jeremy Selwyn)
(Jeremy Selwyn)

Duncan Scott became the most decorated Briton at a single Olympics as Team GB ended the final session of the swimming with a 4x100metre medley relay silver.

Scott, who had won two individual silver medals and a previous relay gold, anchored the British quartet home in second place just behind gold medallists America.

It takes him to six Olympic medals in all, only the cycling trio of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Hoy and Jason Kenny have more.

Of his record-breaking achievement, Scott said: “It’s probably not properly settled in. But I’ve got to give massive credit to my teammates. “

All four in the team: Scott, Luke Greenbank, James Guy and Adam Peaty were already medallists in Tokyo. For Peaty it was a third medal in Tokyo, for Guy a second and for Greenbank a silver to add to his individual backstroke bronze.

The United States and Australia still remain the powerhouses of the swimming world but Britain ended up in third in the swimming medal table, unthinkable nine years ago when they ended their home Olympics with just one silver medal and two bronze.

The long-haired Greenbank, who has not cut his hair in two years – the thinking being it has coincided with an upturn in fortunes in the pool, got the team off to a strong start despite the 100m not being his preferred distance.

He handed over to Peaty who not just caught his rivals but catapulted past them with the quickest breaststroke leg in history to give the lead to James Guy, who very matched the great Caeleb Dressel on the third leg, the butterfly, for the first 50m. But Dressel raised his level and with the fastest butterfly leg ever.

It was left to Scott to try to reel in Zach Apple over 100m of freestyle. He came close halfway through the second lap but it wasn’t quite to be.

It means Britain ends the swimming with four golds, four silvers and a bronze, eclipsing anything they have previously done at the Olympics, their previous best dating back to 1908.

Of the result, Peaty said: “I don’t want it to be a disappointment but we were obviously going in there winning worlds in 2019 - we knew it was going to be a world record but I don’t want to take anything away from the American team. They stepped up big time. We will enjoy it but there is a little bit of pain there.”

The result was a fifth gold medal for Dressel, who had earlier emulated Michael Phelps and Mark Spitz as only the third man in history to win individual gold in the 100m freestyle, 100m butterfly and 50m freestyle at a single Olympics. Any hope he might have been tired from his earlier exertions proved unfounded.

His margin of victory in the 50m free was perhaps the most remarkable – he was 0.48seconds clear of second, and just 0.24s separated second to eighth.

But Dressel was quick to pay tribute to his British rivals in the relay. He said: “The British have been amazing. I was telling Adam that I think they bring out the best in us, it’s so much fun racing with those guys because you don’t know what you’re going to get, there’s no guaranteed winner, there’s really not.”

Emma McKeon became only the second woman in Olympic history to wins seven medals at a single Games and surpassed the Australian record 11 Olympic medals previously held by Ian Thorpe.

Read More

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Duncan Scott ‘really gutted’ as he makes history but gold just eludes him for a second time in the 200m individual medley

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