Olympic champion Duncan Scott believes this week’s international meet could be crucial for Team Scotland in the build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The event at Tollcross Swimming Centre gets under way on Friday, and with the World Championships coming up in Budapest next month it’s an important time for the University of Stirling swimmer.
“Outwith the diving, it’s the full aquatics team together,” Scott told STV. “I think it’s the first time we got to, I don’t want to say bond but really meet each other and get those relationships started.
“Whether it’s just simply having meals together, or team exercises, that’s the first thing. Then also for the World Championships it’s refining skills, seeing what I’m like under pressure.
“I just think it’s important, especially when there’s some young people and some older ones as well, to really get that mix. Some people it’s their last games and others it’s their first and I think it’s important that we all get to know each other well and we separate off from where we’ve been training to create that culture that we’re wanting to have for the games.
“It’s really important and the best teams I’ve been on it feels like you’re just there as one team. Rio 2016, Tokyo last year and 2018 Gold Coast were like that.”
Scott is Great Britain’s most decorated swimmer in Olympic history and has also enjoyed gold medal success at the World Championships and Commonwealth Games. With those triumphs behind him, and plenty of experience picked up along the way, he’s now one of the senior members of the Scotland team.
He says that responsibility isn’t an extra pressure, but something that helps him focus on doing the right things and setting an example for others.
“I would definitely say that over the last few years within Stirling and within Scotland my position within the team has changed,” Scott said. “I’ve gone from having to look up to others to being someone that others look up to.
“For me that’s another thing that I guess holds me accountable, which is fine. My day-to-day behaviours I’ve got to hold myself in high regard in terms of the standards that I set.
“That’s the level that I’m trying to get to so I’m fine with that. At Stirling now we’ve got a lot of youngsters coming in. I’m fine holding myself to those standards that they are wanting to copy them.
“Within the British swimming team, at 25 I’m scarily one of the older ones, even though I’ll be here for much longer. For me, it just means I need to try to be more of a voice when it comes to relays and things like that.”