DUNCAN SCOTT was not only a decent tennis player in his youth; his boyhood dream was of slotting a volley into the top corner at Recreation Park in the jersey of his beloved Alloa Athletic.

The idea that he would make a splash in the pool and score a pair of Olympic silver medals, a couple of world championship golds and then capture European and Commonwealth titles within four months, which he did last summer, was never top of his bucket list of childhood goals.

“I don’t know when I initially thought I’d be a swimmer,” the 22-year-old laughs. “I don’t know if I ever made that choice. I just kind of did it because I enjoyed it, even up to qualifying for the Commonwealth Games in 2014. I was 17, and was still enjoying it more than it feeling like I had to go out to swim. I almost still have that. I like what I do. It doesn’t feel like a full-time job.”

Although he is still completing his degree, swimming is now his chosen profession, and one that has taken him to the cusp of greatness. It is a story that could write its best chapter yet if he comes up golden at the latest edition of the world championships which commenced this morning in the South Korean city of Gwangju.

For the British champion, the 200 metres freestyle starts tonight, with the 100m free and 200m individual medley following arduously in tandem mid-week, with at least a pair of relay outings on top.

Ranked within the top six in all disciplines, and as high as second in the medley, it seems that after gaining all his previous global gongs in relay action, individual garlands can now be achieved.

“I feel ready if the breaks go my way,” says Scott, pictured. “I’d say if sport was stepping stones, that would be the next one. But it’s not like that. There are plenty of people who want the same as me and who will stand in my way in getting to the wall before me. That sport isn’t it? You can be in great form but it all comes down to the day.”

He will lean heavily for microscopic tweaks on his coach of almost 15 years, Steve Tigg, who first witnessed his gifts in his local pool in Alloa. They have journeyed almost in unison, latterly to the swim hub at Stirling University.

“More often than not, he knows me better than I know myself,” Scott says. “He’ll spot something before I tell him and that’s one reason why the relationship is so good. We’ve got a good understanding of each other and if one thing hasn’t worked, we’ll go back to poolside and talk it over.”

A world gold would reward their labours.

“I’m definitely not looking for a change of coach,” Scott says.