Fly­ing the flag was the per­fect end­ing for me, says Scott

Scottish Daily Mail - - Commonwealth Games - JOHN GREECHAN re­ports from the Gold Coast

DUN­CAN SCott spoke of his pride and hon­our af­ter be­ing cho­sen to carry the Saltire at the head of team Scot­land in last night’s Com­mon­wealth Games clos­ing cer­e­mony here. the swim­mer be­came Scot­land’s most suc­cess­ful-ever ath­lete at a sin­gle Games by win­ning six medals, in­clud­ing gold in the 100me­tres freestyle — where he beat reign­ing olympic cham­pion Kyle Chalmers and all-time great Chad le Clos in the fi­nal.

Scott said of his se­lec­tion to carry the flag: ‘to be hon­est, I didn’t know how it was picked. It’s not some­thing that I had ever thought about. I didn’t come into the Games to try to achieve this.

‘I didn’t re­ally know what the cri­te­ria was.

‘I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted. I got asked and it was a yes-or-no ques­tion. there was re­ally only one an­swer.

‘It’s an amaz­ing hon­our. only a se­lect num­ber can say they’ve car­ried the flag for Scot­land at the open­ing or clos­ing cer­e­monies.

‘I’ve thor­oughly en­joyed my­self here. the group I’ve shared the apart­ments with, the Scot­tish swim­ming group we’ve got, is in­cred­i­bly tight.

‘We grew up swim­ming with each other. We’re com­pet­i­tive but good mates at the end of the day. that has been the best thing.

‘Com­pet­ing was great and to swim along­side some of these other ath­letes was great.

‘to be a part of team Scot­land in the best over­seas Games was fan­tas­tic.’

Scot­land ended the Games with 44 medals, eas­ily beat­ing their pre­vi­ous ‘away’ best of 29 in Mel­bourne 12 years ago.

the 2018 Games were also Scot­land’s sec­ond best over­all, top­ping Ed­in­burgh in 1986 and trail­ing only to Glas­gow 2014 — where the in­clu­sion of judo skewed the over­all tally of 54 medals.

Pick­ing one ath­lete from the nine gold medal win­ners alone would have been tough, if not for Scott’s ob­vi­ous stand­out per­for­mances.

team Scot­land chef de mis­sion Jon Doig said: ‘the flag bearer was se­lected by the gen­eral team man­age­ment.

‘Dun­can has done some­thing that no one has done be­fore. Not only that. Look at the gold he won.

‘Beat­ing the Aus­tralians in the blue-riband event of these Games — and the blue-riband event of their sport — in their own pool was a phe­nom­e­nal achieve­ment.

‘the view­ers of that race in Aus­tralia were two mil­lion and we had a Scot com­ing out ahead and Flower of Scot­land be­ing sung out.’

Stan­dard-bearer: Dun­can Scott ad­mit­ted he was hon­oured — and sur­prised — to carry the Saltire at the Games’ clos­ing cer­e­mony

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