With under 200 days to go until the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games, the first athletes to represent Team Scotland have been named in Swimming and Lawn Bowls.
A total of 31 athletes have been confirmed following nominations from Scottish Swimming and Bowls Scotland and subsequent ratification by Commonwealth Games Scotland.
Both sports were major contributors to Team Scotland’s record medal haul at Glasgow 2014 and among those selected are six defending Commonwealth Games champions, as well as Olympic, World and European medallists, while nine athletes will make their Games debut in Gold Coast.
The Swimming team contains a mix of youth and experience with 13 of the 21 swimmers having competed for Team Scotland at Glasgow 2014, complemented by a number of young talents making the team for the first time. Ross Murdoch and Dan Wallace will defend their Commonwealth Games titles down under, with Hannah Miley aiming to make it three 400m Individual Medley titles in a row, which would be a record for any sport.
Just 17 when he took silver as part of the 4 x 200m Freestyle Relay team three years ago in Glasgow, Duncan Scott will be looking to step up in Gold Coast on the back of medal success in the relays at both the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and 2017 World Championships. Scott was not the only athlete on the World Championship podium this summer and fellow gold medallist in the 4x200m Freestyle Relay, Stephen Milne will also be one to watch.
Kathleen Dawson has also made huge advances since Glasgow 2014. The 20 year old backstroke specialist took bronze in the 100m event at the 2016 European Championships, adding gold in the Medley Relay, and was a finalist in both events at this year’s World Championships in Budapest.
Team Scotland’s most successful Youth Games athlete in history, with five medals at Bahamas 2017 just over two months ago, 18-year-old Scott McLay makes an immediate step up into the senior team. He is joined by 2015 Youth Games silver medallist Craig McLean and bronze medallist at the recent World Junior Championships, Keanna MacInnes.
Five men and five women make up the Lawn Bowls team which will compete at the Broadbeach Bowls Club, a world-class venue which is regular host to the Australian National Championships finals and top level international events.
Scotland’s bowlers returned from the 2016 World Championships with five medals from eight events and had the chance to test themselves on the greens of Broadbeach at the Eight Nations Invitational earlier this year.
Alex ‘Tattie’ Marshall MBE will make his sixth Commonwealth Games appearance and will be looking to add to his tally of four gold medals, which include both Pairs and Fours titles at Glasgow 2014. He will be joined by two fellow Glasgow gold medallists; Paul Foster MBE, who stood alongside him on the podium in both those victories and 2014 Singles champion Darren Burnett. Since Glasgow Foster has been in fantastic form, taking double bronze alongside Marshall at the 2016 World Championships, before triumphing with gold in the Open Singles at the 2017 World Indoor Championships, the fifth time he has taken this title.
Caroline Brown and Claire Johnston each return for a third Games, while Kay Moran makes her second Games appearance, 12 years after her silver medal winning performance at Melbourne 2006 in the Women’s Pairs. Moran now lives and plays in Australia and will look to bring her local knowledge to bear, down at Broadbeach.
The squad is completed by four athletes; Ronnie Duncan, Derek Oliver, Lesley Doig and Stacey McDougall who will represent Team Scotland for the first time.
The women’s team will be looking for a first medal since 2006, and while Gold Coast will be their first Commonwealth Games experience, both Doig and McDougall have a proven ability to compete at the top level. Doig recorded Scotland’s top result at the 2016 World Championships with silver in the Singles, also taking bronze in the Pairs event, while McDougall is a double World U25 Championships medallist with Pairs silver and Singles bronze.
Jon Doig OBE, Team Scotland Chef de Mission, said: “We are delighted to welcome our first athletes to Team Scotland 2018. We are off to a strong start with swimming and lawn bowls, two of Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games sports with a track record of success in Australia. They are also two of Australia’s top sports, so we can count on a fantastic atmosphere and tough competition in Gold Coast.
“Congratulations to all athletes selected and we look forward to Team Scotland 2018 taking shape over the coming months.”
Performance Director of Scottish Swimming, Ally Whike said: “I have been very pleased with the approach of the swimmers to the challenge of qualification. This will hold them in good stead to perform at the top of their game come April.”
Aileen Campbell, Minister for Public Health and Sport, said: “Congratulations to the athletes chosen to represent Scotland at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Swimming and lawn bowls helped us to our record medal haul in Glasgow and I have no doubt both sports will contribute to further success. The squads contain a mixture of experience and debutants with “Tattie” Marshall competing in his sixth games to Scott McLay stepping up from becoming Scotland’s most successful athlete at the Youth Commonwealth Games earlier this year. In Women and Girls and Sport Week, it’s great to see Hannah Miley, Kathleen Dawson, in the swimming and Caroline Brown, Claire Johnston, Kay Moran and Lesley Doig in the lawn bowls selected to compete in Gold Coast.”
David Gourlay, Bowls Scotland High Performance Head Coach added: “The coaching team and I are delighted to have such an experienced squad representing Scotland in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. The squad is a mixture of youth and players who have a proven track record at winning in the Southern Hemisphere.
“All players have and will continue to commit to a rigorous training programme which in turn will allow us to build on the success of Glasgow 2014.”
Mike Whittingham, Director of High Performance at the sportscotland Institute of Sport said: “Congratulations to all of the athletes who have been selected for Team Scotland today. Swimming and lawn bowls have traditionally been very successful Scottish sports and it’s fantastic to see that tradition continuing with a strong contingent set to represent Scotland at the Gold Coast.
“The athletes have worked hard to earn their selections, but they have not worked alone. Supporting every athlete is a ‘team behind the team’ comprised of coaches, families, governing bodies and the experts at the sportscotland institute of sport. We are proud to play our part in ensuring the athletes are prepared and ready to deliver on the world stage.”
SELECTED ATHLETES – Click to see all athlete profiles here
Name Hometown / Lives
Craig Benson Livingston / Stirling
Mark Campbell Peterhead / Aberdeen
Sean Campsie Livingston / Falkirk
Euan Inglis Aberdeen / Edinburgh
Kieran McGuckin Falkirk / Edinburgh
Scott McLay Perth / Stirling
Craig McLean Livingston / Stirling
Craig McNally Edinburgh / Glasgow
Stephen Milne Perth / Perth
Ross Murdoch Balfron / Stirling
Duncan Scott Alloa / Stirling
Mark Szaranek Glenrothes / Florida, USA
Calum Tait Milngavie / Edinburgh
Jack Thorpe Milngavie / Edinburgh
Dan Wallace Edinburgh / Edinburgh
Kathleen Dawson Warrington / Stirling
Lucy Hope Jedburgh/ Edinburgh
Keanna MacInnes Edinburgh / Edinburgh
Hannah Miley Inverurie / Aberdeen
Corrie Scott Strathaven / Edinburgh
Cassie Wild Edinburgh / Mold
Lindsay Lewis – Team Manager
Alan Lynn – Team Coach/Lead
Ann Dickson – Swimming Coach
Chris Jones – Swimming Coach
Steven Tigg – Swimming Coach
Ian Wright – Swimming Coach
LAWN BOWLS (10):
Name Hometown / Lives
Caroline Brown Motherwell / Motherwell
Lesley Doig Strathmiglo / Newburgh
Claire Johnston Irvine / Auchinleck
Stacey McDougall Dalkeith / Woodburn
Kay Moran Glasgow / Shell Cove, New South Wales
Darren Burnett Arbroath / Arbroath
Ronnie Duncan Bonnyrigg / Lasswade
Paul Foster Troon / Troon
Alex Marshall Tranent / Tranent
Derek Oliver Cockenzie / Cockenzie
Ricky Taylor – Team Manager
David Gourlay – Head Coach
George Sneddon – Coach
Sandra McLeish – Coach