Duncan Scott is ready for a battle royale in Japan to finally capture an elusive first individual world swimming title.

In his only solo event in Fukuoka, Alloa’s aquatic ace set the second-quickest time in yesterday’s semi-finals of the 200 metres individual medley to set out his stall.

His mark of 1:56.50 only trailed France’s defending champion Leon Marchand, who will now hunt a golden treble after adding the 200m butterfly title yesterday to his 400m medley.

Tom Dean’s bid for a medal double is alive with the Englishman progressing in seventh but after missing the 2022 worlds due to illness, Scott admits he’s still getting the measure of all the men who will be his rivals here – and at the Paris 2024 Olympics.

The 26-year-old said: “There are a lot of the boys in there I've not raced before, missing last year, so it's good to get in there and race them ahead of next year in Paris.

“That's the main reason why I'm looking forward to the final - it's why I wanted a good lane as well, really just to get a sense of what it's like.

“I'm really happy I moved it on and see where I can make some changes ahead of the final. Deano has already had a great week, Marchand speaks for himself. Carson Foster is swimming well, Daiyo Seto too. It's going to be pretty good fun.”

Matt Richards broke the British record in the men’s 100m freestyle twice in one day to reach today’s final and put himself in line for a high-speed double.

The 200m champion clocked 47.59 in the heats before a time of 47.47 seconds in the semis that qualified the 20-year-old fastest.

“It was just focusing on the process, really,” he said. “We knew it was possible, we knew it was on the cards, but to achieve it was about executing the race correctly. To get the British record twice in one day is pretty cool - and hopefully we can go and lower it.”

The UK quartet of Media Harris, Jimmy Guy, Jacob Peters and Anna Hopkin took fifth – and all but secured Olympics qualification - in the mixed 4x100 medley relay as China powered to victory. While Freya Anderson was seventh in the women’s 200m free final as Mollie O’Callaghan set a world record of 1:52.85 to hold off fellow Australian Ariane Titmus.

Meanwhile Katie Shanahan admits she’s targeting a world medal in the women’s 200m backstroke to upgrade her European silver from last season.

The Glaswegian, 19, is out to bounce back tonight following the disqualification from the 200m medley that cost her a possible shot at gold.

But there’s no guarantees despite red-hot showings in the build-up, she claims.

“I know what I did at trials does put me in pretty good shape for getting to the final and challenging for medals,” she said. “But you never know what people are going to do. A lot of girls have been going quite fast at their trials but it doesn't mean that they can go fast again, when it actually matters.

“I'm not going to put any pressure on myself thinking I'm going to get a medal because I know might not.” Elsewhere tonight, Ben Proud defends his title in the men’s 50m freestyle.