SCOTLAND’S Ross Murdoch was denied a gold medal by a late surge from England’s James Wilby in a dramatic 200m breaststroke final and had to settle for a silver medal.
Murdoch was unable to defend the title he famously won in Glasgow four years ago, when he shocked poster boy Michael Jamieson, as Wilby’s strong finish overhauled the Scot’s lead.
After qualifying fastest for the final, Murdoch was fancied to take gold but this time he was on the end of a surprise as the 25-year-old Englishman, who was born in Glasgow, got the touch in a huge personal best of 2:08.05. Murdoch was second in 2:08.32.
With world No 1 breaststroker Adam Peaty deciding not to compete in the 200m event, the door was opened for Murdoch but in the end he fell just short. Bronze went to Matthew Wilson of Australia,
Murdoch was joined in the final by two other Scots, Craig Benson and Calum Tait, who finished sixth and seventh.
Murdoch rued his final length, describing it as “dire”, but insisted he could not be too disappointed.
“I was dying there in that last 25,” he added.
“I’ve not lost a title at all. There was nothing to defend, I had nothing to lose and I went in there and got a silver medal. I had everything to gain.”
Loughborough-based Wilby called his mum immediately after the win. She was watching at the Gold Coast Aquatics Centre.
“I felt it was right to speak to her as soon as I could,” Wilby said.
“I just wanted to make sure it was worth the trip out to Australia. I’m sure she’s happy with that.”
Wilby was in tears after failing to qualify from the heats at last year’s World Championships in Budapest and he showed little emotion after his victory.
“I was just soaking it all in. This is just all relief,” he added.
“This year I got really mean with myself and thought ‘right, I’ve got to start making a move and put everything right’.”