The Scottish team more than doubled its medal count on day three of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India yesterday.
Strathaven’s Douglas Scott won the 50 metres breaststroke final in a time of 29.54 seconds, equalling his personal best and Scottish junior record whilst setting a new Commonwealth Youth Games record.
“I was quite pleased with it but I thought I would have swum a bit better and gone a little bit faster,” said the 18 year old after beating competitors from South African and Singapore into second and third place.
“But it’s great to win gold, especially in these outdoor conditions where it’s really hot and the 50 metres is one of my weaker events. The 100 and 200 events are stronger so this will hopefully set me up well for the 100 metres breaststroke tomorrow.”
The team’s swimming coach, Ian Wright, said afterwards the gold medal was a ‘great boost to his team’ but he didn’t expect it to have immediate effect. Minutes later Daniel Scott (pictured below) from Glenrothes won the silver medal in the 50 metres butterfly. In his heats and final he has set his own PBs of 24.69 and 24.38 seconds respectively.
The third Scottish medal of the day came in the wrestling care of Clydebank 17 year old, Craig McKenna, who had made it through the first two rounds of the 50kg event on byes.
“In my first match today I got beaten by an Indian but in my bronze medal match I beat an Australian 3-1 in the first round and 2-1 in the second,” he said.
“I got a lucky draw at the start of the weigh in, with byes in the first two rounds which definitely helped me get a bronze medal today. Before I came I was hoping to wrestle well and maybe sneak a medal so to get the bronze is absolutely brilliant. I’m relieved, excited, and speechless.
“I’m going to back to Scotland and work my training and fight towards Delhi, and I’ll definitely be fighting towards Glasgow. They’re the two biggest steps for me right now.”
Sports Minister, Stewart Maxwell, who is attending the Youth Games to support Scotland’s young athletes, said:
“Well done to Craig, Daniel and Douglas for adding to Scotland’s medal haul in Pune. This is great news for our young athletes who have worked so hard to be able to fly the flag for their country. I am sure it will be the start of many years of success for our sporting stars of the future.”
Scotland will be guaranteed a further three medals in the boxing event after flyweight Josh Taylor from Prestonpans, Jonathan Slowey, a featherweight from Glasgow and Fauldhouse Light Welterweight, Robert McKee, reached today’s semi finals (bronzes are available to both semi final losers).
“It’s been a great experience so far and it will be good to get a medal,” said Taylor. “I’m guaranteed a bronze, but I’m not looking for the bronze, I’m looking for the gold.”
In the badminton event Edinburgh’s Martin Campbell and Paul Van Rietvelde from Longniddry have both reached the semi finals in the singles where they each face Indians, and a partisan home crowd.
“It’s a massive thing for us both to get this far and it will be a massive thing to win a medal as well,” said Campbell who would be more than delighted to meet his friend Van Rietvelde in the final.
No medals have been won yet in track and field by Scots although the team produced some good performances.
In the 1500 metre final Bearsden 16 year old Beth Potter finished fifth and Carnoustie’s Eilish McColgan came eighth whilst Livingston’s Chris O’Hare finished eighth in the boys’ event.
Callum Sharp from Bishopbriggs finished fifth in pole vault, in the process setting a new personal best of 4:60 metres. Calum Innes (Bearsden) produced two new personal bests in 110m hurdles – 14.45 seconds in the heats and 14.48 in the final to finish seventh.
It was not the best of days for Falkirk’s hammer thrower Myra Perkins who produced five no throws in her final to finish fourth, although the throw that was allowed was just 12 cm off the silver medalists. One of her disallowed throws would have been a PB but she came out of the throwing circle
“I’m so disappointed,” she said afterwards. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a competition where I’ve only got on throw in and I wish I knew why it happened I was looking forward to the competition, wasn’t nervous or over awed.
“I apologised to Hugh (her coach) but I said I want to be in Glasgow in 2014 because I want all the people there supporting me like they do here in India. There was an Indian guy fighting in the boxing today and noise was amazing. I want to go to the Worlds next year and prove I can actually throw.”
In the last 16 of the table tennis singles draw Edinburgh’s Craig Howieson missed a match point at 3-3 before losing 4-3 to Australian David Powell.
“I felt I was the better player, I was more aggressive, I outplayed him on the table and if it wasn’t for a few lucky nicks and errors I would have won that match,” said Craig. “I knew he was tough because I played him before and any matches once you get in the knock out rounds are tough here, but it’s difficult to comprehend I’m out and I can’t get a medal here.”