Former Strathallan School pupil Duncan Scott has the backing of his former swim coach as he aims for Olympic glory in the pool.
Duncan, who attended Perthshire school on a sports scholarship, will compete in the final of the men’s 200m freestyle in the early hours of Tuesday.
The Scot, who is now based in Stirling, qualified fastest from the semi-finals in a time of 1:44:60.
Now, his former former coach at Strathallan, Elaine Johnston, is wishing him all the luck as he aims to be the first Scot to claim gold in the pool since David Wilkie in 1976.
“It’s all very exciting”
She said: “The Strathallan community are exceptionally proud of his achievements and want to wish him all the best for tomorrow’s final. It’s all very exciting.
“We 100% support him all the way and wish him all the best!”
The 24-year-old is no stranger to medal success having won two silver medals in Rio five years ago, multiple world and European medals and a Commonwealth Games gold in the 100m freestyle three years ago.
Elaine, who herself competed for Team Scotland in the 1986 Commonwealth Games, said it was no surprise that her former pupil has achieved such success so far.
Wow! Great racing from @Dunks_Scott as he posts the fastest time for the 200m freestyle final, having won his semi-final in 1:44.60. That's only 0.13 off his British Record. @tomdean00 also through. Roll on tomorrow 🔥🇬🇧 pic.twitter.com/S0P4z4LQdr
— Scottish Swimming (@ScottishSwim) July 26, 2021
She said: “Duncan was at Strathallan from an early age right up until he finished his education and the whole time he was dedicated to swimming.
“Swimming is a tough sport, there are no shortcuts and you don’t rely on anybody else – you’ve got to be in there doing the work yourself.
“You’ve got to be in it for the long game. It’s not going to happen with just two years of training and then you make the Olympics, it’s a lot of hard graft which he has done.
“He worked really hard, he was very grounded and he got on with the work so we always knew there was a high chance that he could reach where he has so far.”
An inspiration to the next generation
The Glasgow-born swimmer was coached at the school by Elaine from the age of 12 through to 18.
Elaine, who is originally from Dundee, is now hoping that the achievement of Duncan and the rest of Team GB will help inspire the future generation of swimming stars.
She said: “You hope that watching people like Duncan and Adam Peaty will really inspire the next generation.”
“Hopefully it will inspire all those little ones who are getting back into the pool to go ahead and keep up their training.
“If you are willing to put in the work and the effort then it’s possible, no matter who you are or where you are from.”
The men’s 200m freestyle final is scheduled to take place at around 2:43am UK time.