Edinburgh table tennis player Craig Howieson enjoyed a double confidence boost on day one of the Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India yesterday by winning the first two matches of his round robin draw 3-0.
“It’s always good to get the first match out of the way so to win two matches is great for my confidence,” said the 18 year old Edinburgh University PE student, who is seeded seventh in the singles. “I’ve got one more match in my group tomorrow but I’m expected to win it.”
Like the other Scottish athletes in action in Pune, Howieson was spurred on by the rest of the team. Cheering him from the stands for his second singles game on Monday were Scots from badminton, weighlifting and wrestling. “There’s a great atmosphere amongst the team and we have really bonded well together,” he said.
Howieson was due to play his final singles match this morning (Tues 14th) before teaming up with Glasgow’s Craig Hardie (pictured), for no less than three doubles matches. Eighteen year old Hardie has won one and lost one match in his round robin singles group so far and will need to beat Jackson Morea Kariko from Papua New Guinea to secure his place in the main draw.
Elsewhere on day one badminton players Edinburgh’s Martin Campbell and Paul Van Rietvelde from Longniddry, seeded third and fourth respectively, both won their opening matches.
“It was good to win that first match to settle the nerves and it was a comfortable win,” said Campbell, who will also begin the doubles event tomorrow with Troon’s Angus Gilmour.
“I’ve got a top Canadian next in the singles draw and in the doubles we’ve got the Canadians again,” he said. “To get a medal we’re in the right side of the draw but they are all tough matches, the same as in the singles.”
Amongst the other winners on day one were Fauldhouse light welterweight (64 kg) boxer Robert McKee who beat Zambia’s Stephen Silungwe.
In the shooting event Falkirk’s Jennifer McIntosh finished fifth in the 50m Rifle Prone final, raising her position by one place after a disappointing 40 shot match before the final. Daughter of Scottish Commonwealth Games competitors Shirley and Donald McIntosh, 17 year old Jennifer will now concentrate on the 50 metres Rifle 3 Position event.