Scott upsets Chalmers to win 100-meter freestyle gold medal
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Scotland’s Duncan Scott put a dampener on Australia’s swimming resurgence when he upset Olympic champion Kyle Chalmers to win the men’s 100-meter freestyle final at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.
In sixth place at the end of the first lap, Scott unleashed a devastating burst on the last length to surge past the field and get his hand on the wall first in a time of 48.02 seconds, leaving a stunned Chalmers relegated to a deadheat for second with South Africa’s Chad le Clos on 48.15.
“I had to stick to what I’m good at, and that’s bringing it home,” said Scott, who became the first Scottish swimmer to win the men’s blue-ribbon event at the Commonwealth Games.
Le Clos, who had already won golds in the 50- and 200-meter butterfly, said he felt bittersweet after posting the fastest 200m freestyle of his life to finish tied for second.
“I wish we could do it again. Give me 20 minutes to warm down and I’d love to go again,” Le Clos said.
Chalmers, who missed last year’s world championships to undergo heart surgery, said the loss had strengthened his resolve to get back to the peak after his last major win at the 2016 Olympics at Rio de Janeiro.
“No one swims to come second. You always want to stand at the top of the podium, so that has lit the fire in my belly,” he said.
While Australia’s male sprinters flopped, the country’s top female swimmer Cate Campbell picked up her third medal of the Games in a brand new event for her, the 50-meter butterfly.
Normally a freestyle specialist, she entered the race for experience but still proved too quick for all her rivals as she won in 25.59 seconds.
“I picked up the 50 butterfly as a bit of a joke toward the end of last year for World Cups and then I qualified for Commonwealth Games and it suddenly didn’t become such a joke because I’m standing up and representing my country,” she said.
Canada’s Kylie Masse won her second gold medal at the Games with victory in the women’s 200-meter backstroke final, edging her teenage teammate Taylor Ruck by less than a half-second as she reached the wall in 2:05.98.
Masse, the world record-holder and world champion for 100-meter backstroke, had never won a medal in 200 at an international event before and said she was still trying to work out the best way to swim it.
“The 200 is quite a funky race,” she said. “You have to get used to how you swim it ... It’s a bit of a game.”
Ruck picked up her sixth medal of the Games, a record haul for a Canadian, and still has the 100-meter freestyle final and the medley relay to come.