Gold and Relay Silver Takes Ward to Youth Games Medal Record

August 9, 2023

Matthew Ward became the most successful Team Scotland athlete in Commonwealth Youth Games history with a dominant performance for gold in the 200m Backstroke, followed by silver as part of the Mixed 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay, taking his tally to three gold and two silver.

With a day’s competition still to go, he could yet become the first Scottish athlete to win more than five medals at a single Games. He was never headed from start to finish in the 200m Backstroke, winning in 1:59.21, almost three seconds clear of silver medallist Adan Graham of England.

On bettering Scott McLay’s medal record, set at Bahamas 2017 with three gold, a silver and a bronze, Matthew said: “It’s like a dream come true, especially with all the training. It’s not easy, it’s not simple but it just makes that training worth it and I couldn’t ask for a better team to be with. I came in with an open mind, there’s loads of other countries here with strong competition so I din’t really know what to expect. I din’tlook at the times I  was just going to go for it and see what I could do and hopefully come away with a few medals so I’m really proud of how I’ve been able to do it so far.

“It was special the fifth medal coming in the relay, especially being with the team. Last night we had a bit of an upset in the 4x 200m Freestyle but it was a testament to all of our characters to show we could come back from that and to get silver is just amazing.

“Tomorrow I’ve got the 200m Individual Medley and the 4 x 100m Medley Relay so I’m just going in again with an open mind, try to do my absolute best and finish on a high.”

Holly McGill also took the top step of the podium, with a similarly impressive display in the Women’s 200m Backstroke, winning by over 4 seconds from Australia’s Zoe Ammundsen. Her pedigree as a finalist in this event at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games showed as she took her second gold of Trinbago 2023.

The 400m Freestyle saw Sean McCann and Evan Davidson finish fifth and sixth while Team Scotland also had two finalists in the Men’s 100m Fly, Stefan Krawiec finishing fifth and Dean Fearn eighth.

Matthew Ward, Stefan Krawiec, Drew McKenzie and Laurie Devine made sure that the night ended on a high, with an exceptional performance in the Mixed 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay for silver.

The swimming competition concludes tomorrow with another packed day for Team Scotland.

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