Golden day for Scotland on super Sunday at the Games
● Team Scotland take eight medals at Gold Coast
Scotland saw a huge double gold celebration at the Commonwealth Games in Brisbane yesterday. Swimmer Duncan Scott reacted with delight after a stunning victory in the 100m freestyle, while cyclist Mark Stewart won the men’s points race
Scottish athletes enjoyed a super Sunday at the Commonwealth Games, securing a further eight medals and smashing yet more records.
Swimmer Duncan Scott became the most decorated Scottish competitor at a single Games after taking his medal tally in Australia to five.
In a major upset, the 20-yearold from Alloa came from behind in the 100m freestyle to beat South Africa’s Chad le Clos and Australia’s Kyle Chalmers – the reigning Olympic champion.
Scott went on to win bronze with the 4x200m freestyle relay team, adding to the three bronzes he had already taken at the Games.
The phenomenal performance means the youngster has surpassed fellow swimmer Gregor Tait, who won two golds and two bronzes in Melbourne in 2006, as the most successful ever Scottish athlete at a single Games – and Scott still has two events to go in the Gold Coast.
A double silver medallist at the Rio Olympics, Scott is widely tipped to be a star of Team GB at the Tokyo Games, and he expressed delight yesterday after his defining victory in front of his loved ones.
“I did what I do best in bringing it home,” he said. “I’m absolutely delighted my family’s here. It’s a dream for me for them to see that. I’m so happy.
“I’m buzzing and trying to swim my best. So far, so good. It’s very exciting for two years’ time after beating the Olympic champion. I’m delighted to swim that fast.”
Scott’s glittering haul ensured Scotland moved up to fifth place in the table with 23 medals, putting the nation firmly on course for its most successful overseas Games ever, with seven days still to go.
The Scottish record of 29 was achieved at the Melbourne Games 12 years ago.
On what was Team Scotland’s best day so far in the Gold Coast, Mark Stewart secured gold in the velodrome
“I did what i do best in bringing it home. I’m absolutely delighted my family’s here. It’s a dream for me for them to see that. I’m so happy.” SWIMMER DUNCAN SCOTT
after winning the men’s point race, a result which put Scotland in second place in the cycling medal table, behind only the host nation.
The 22-year-old adopted an aggressive strategy, quickly gaining three laps on his competitors to build a sizeable lead he never looked like losing.
After the race, which saw him beat five-time world champion Cameron Meyer, Stewart said: “I’m really proud. That was a lot of hard work and it’s come together nicely. I’m only 22 but I feel like I’ve been at this for ages. There’s been a lot of good days and a lot of bad days. This is up there with the good days.”
Scotland’s other gold of the day was gained in the lawn bowls, where Darren Burnett, Derek Oliver and Ronald Duncan turned the tables on Australia, coming from 14-13 down to win 19-14 in the men’s triple final. Burnett described winning gold as “the greatest feeling in the world,” adding: “We beat the Aussies in their backyard. I knew it was up to me to deliver one or two big ones.”
Cyclist Neah Evans won silver in the women’s 10km scratch race, while Callum Skinner defied illness to take bronze in the men’s 1,000m time trial.
Elsewhere, Mark Dry won bronze in the men’s hammer throw after what he described as “the best throw of my career,” with gymnast Daniel Purvis taking home a medal of the same colour in the men’s floor final.
It’s not always easy being a Scottish sport enthusiast. More often than not our national representatives are perfectly designed for the roles of plucky, but doomed, underdogs.
So when Scots start winning, the pleasure is all the greater. Scottish athletes are currently cutting a swathe through the competition at the Commonwealth games, with some fantastic performances.
Yesterday, Duncan Scott left he competition in his wake, taking swimming gold in the 100 metres freestyle, while Mark Stewart brought cycling events at the velodrome to a thrilling conclusion with a victory in the points race.
There was another gold, in bowls, and bronzes in gymnastics and hammer throwing as day four of the Games turned into something of a super Sunday for Scotland.
Recent years have seen some Scots break through to dominate their sports. Cyclist Sir Chris Hoy and tennis star Sir Andy Murray are just two who’ve helped end Scotland’s reputation as perpetual losers.
And, just as Sirs Chris and Andy inspired others who followed in their footsteps, those making their mark in Australia are examples of how talent and hard work can combine to create stunning success.
The victories of Scots athletes Down Under are not simply individual pleasures to be savoured, they are an example to a nation that all too often makes headlines because of the poor health of its people.
While Scotland spent decades developing a reputation as a harddrinking, chain-smoking, fatdevouring nation, other countries produced a string of sporting heroes. But, just maybe, Scotland is starting to shape up. We should certainly proceed as if this is so.
The late Margo Macdonald MSP was a doughty campaigner for greater physical education in schools. She believed that an appetite for exercise acquired in childhood would last a – much-prolonged – lifetime. We would rather like to see a current MSP take up this particular cause.
Scots may be drinking and smoking less than we once did but obesity rates continue to rise. The answer surely lies – in part, at least – in encouraging children to exercise more. The stories of Duncan Scott and Mark Stewart (and many others) should be told in classrooms across Scotland and youngsters who feel inspired by them should be able to count on the resources and support they need to follow their own dreams.
0 Duncan Scott shows off his gold medal for the 100m freestyle. Top right, the men’s triple team celebrate their bowls victory. Above, cyclist Neah Evans, who won a silver medal