DUNCAN SCOTT said there were no excuses after Great Britain surprisingly lost their grip on the 4x200 freestyle title at swimming’s world champion-ships in Gwangju as they were squeezed into fifth, writes Mark Woods.

Chasing a third successive relay gold in the event, the 2016 Olympic silver medallists lay third after the Scot’s opening leg. But Calum Jervis, Tom Dean and James Guy’s efforts came up short as GB ended just six-hundredths of a second off the podium with Australia wrestling away their crown in a time of 7:00.85 with Russia beating the USA to silver.

“I’m delighted with my leg,” said Scott, who is set for one final crack at doubling his medal haul in tomorrow’s 4x100 medley relay. “But at the end of the day I’m just part of the team and everybody was doing their individual legs and I don’t think anyone had a bad swim. We swam very fast. It’s just that was a very fast race. It was a really solid effort and we’ve got to walk away proud.”

Luke Greenbank added to the British medal tally with bronze in the 200m backstroke with a personal best of 1.55.85 as Russia’s Evgeny Rylov eased to gold. His compatriot Yuliya Efimova won the women’s 200m breaststroke with Molly Renshaw fifth, while English prospect Freya Anderson came eighth in the 100m freestyle as the USA’s Simone Manuel claimed victory.

Ben Proud, dethroned as 50m butterfly champion, earned a shot at redemption in today’s 50m freestyle final by coming second in his semi-final, while Guy will look to beat his bronze of two years ago in Budapest in the 100m butterfly after sealing his spot in the final with Caeleb Dressel of the USA clocking 49.50 secs in the semi to smash Michael Phelps’ world record which had stood for 10 years.

It was one of three world bests to fall with 17-year-old American Regan Smith swimming 2:03.35 in the 200m backstroke semis and Russia’s Anton Chupkov defending his title in the 200m breaststroke by snatching gold in 2:06.12.