NO matter the distance or the discipline, Duncan Scott can rarely be discounted. Pre-selected for June’s world championships in Budapest, the 24-year-old has the luxury at this week’s British Swimming Championships in Sheffield of experimenting outside his normal comfort zone.

The victories, the milestones, the moments of history keep on coming regardless. And the six-time Olympic medallist underscored his prodigious range by wrestling the UK record in the men’s 400 metres individual medley away from Max Litchfield last night.

As he gears up for a treble tilt in the months ahead that also includes Europeans and Commonwealth Games, these are signs of immense promise. He clocked 4:09.18 to finish almost five seconds clear of Brodie Williams and head the all-time UK rankings over his third individual distance.

“I’m still learning the event but I’m obviously delighted with that time,” said Scott, who also grabbed the Commonwealth record in lowering his prior best by six seconds. “I love watching Max do that every year, he’s an incredible athlete and the times that he is able to do consistently around that 4:10 barrier is incredible.

“So I’m delighted to get that off him. I’ll look back and I’m sure there’s many areas for me to improve on but I’m really happy with that.”

The 24-year-old made a tactical retreat from the 100m freestyle – the distance where he will head to this summer’s Commonwealth Games as the defending champion. In his absence, Lewis Burras was just one-hundredth of a second outside Scott’s British record with a time of 47.88 seconds that saw off Olympic 200m champion Tom Dean.

But Scott said: “The 100 free is one that I’ve got to keep battling at. We’ve got so much  depth in Britain. It’s exciting to be part of those relay teams. That’s not one that’s getting dropped.”

Teenage prospect Evie Davis landed her first senior British medal in the women’s 50m freestyle, taking bronze as Anna Hopkin claimed victory. But the 17-year-old, who edged ahead of fellow Scots Emma Russell and Lucy Hope, was two-hundreds of a second outside Scotland’s qualifying mark for the Commonwealths.

“It’s a bit annoying to be honest,” she said. “It’s off my personal best but it was a decent enough swim, definitely the best I’ve swum so far this season. So I am happy with it.

“I’ve the 100m free tomorrow so I’m looking to keep building on my performances this week. I’m also doing the 400m freestyle. That was just for fun but I think I might regret that decision.”

Scott’s Stirling team-mate Keanna Macinnes ducked under the Birmingham consideration time in taking silver in the 200m butterfly in 2:10.02 behind Laura Stephens. One of the youngest members of Scotland’s team on the Gold Coast in 2018, she will have aspirations of a medal in the Midlands in July.

“I’m delighted to have got under that consideration time,” Macinnes said. “I was hoping to get even maybe further under it. But I’m still really pleased. Doing that in the 200 takes a bit of pressure off the 100. But I’d still like to do it again.

“I was kind of going for it in the heats but it’s difficult to do that in that sort of race. I wasn’t too disappointed that I didn’t get it in the heats because I always want to move it forward into the final. And that heat was faster than I did last year at trials when I did my personal best.”

Elsewhere, Welshman Dan Jervis prevailed in the men’s 1500m freestyle.