National Titles on the Line as Gymnastics Leaps into Sport Focus

March 10, 2020

As Scotland’s top gymnasts prepare for the National Artistic Championships in Perth at the end of this month, Gymnastics is next into our ‘Celebrating Our Past, Building Our Future’ Sport Focus spotlight, as we continue to feature each of the 25 sports in which Scotland has competed at the Commonwealth Games.

Frank Baines and Cara Kennedy lifted the Men’s and Women’s All-Around titles in 2019, with the Championships bringing together the country’s top artistic gymnasts to compete for coveted national titles. For 2020 the event returns to Perth’s Bell’s Sports Centre on 28 and 29 March.

Look out for all things Gymnastics on Team Scotland’s website and social channels this month as we delve into the archives for tales of past success and also look ahead to the rising stars of the sport who could be representing Team Scotland at Birmingham 2022.

Gymnastics at the Commonwealth Games

Artistic Gymnastics is a core sport on the Commonwealth Games programme. It was first included in 1978 and, after a gap of two Games, has featured in every Games since Auckland in 1990. Both men and women compete for medals in the All-Around competition, Individual Apparatus finals and the Team Event. Rhythmic Gymnastics is an optional discipline and was first introduced in 1990.

Scotland sit sixth on the all-time Commonwealth Games Gymnastics medal table with Canada the top nation ahead of Australia. The Edmonton 1978 Games saw the introduction of Artistic Gymnastics and the host nation Canada dominated, winning all four gold medals on offer (Men’s and Women’s Team Event and Individual All-Around) and also sweeping the podium in the Women’s All-Around. They continued this success in 1990 with the introduction of Rhythmic events and Artistic individual apparatus finals, taking 13 of the 19 titles on offer.

1994 saw the introduction of the Rhythmic Team Event, also the year that Scotland won its first Gymnastics medal. Scotland’s most successful Games have come in recent years, with Glasgow 2014 the top performance to date with two gold, two silver and one bronze.

Find out more about Gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games on our dedicated Gymnastics page.

Scotland’s Commonwealth Games Medallists

Scotland sent gymnasts to both the 1978 and 1990 Commonwealth Games, a 6th place in the Women’s Team Event the top performance, but it was not until Victoria 1994 that Joanne Walker won Scotland’s first ever Gymnastics medal with a bronze in the Rhythmic Hoop event. She was also a finalist in Ribbon, Ball and Clubs and combined with Gayle Godsen and Lynsey Johnston to finish 6th in the Team Event.

The first Artistic Gymnastics medals came in 2002 as Steve Frew came out of retirement to win gold on the rings in his fourth Games, Scotland’s first ever Gymnastics gold. His win spurred on fellow gymnast Barry Collie, who took bronze in the vault and also took 4th on Parallel Bars and 6th on High Bar. Both men’s and women’s teams performed well in the Team event with the men taking 4th place and the women 6th. Adam Cox was the sole Gymnastics medallist at Melbourne 2006 with High Bar bronze just two years on from an outstanding five medal haul at the Commonwealth Youth Games, also held in Australia. At Delhi 2010 the top performance came from Amy Reagan who just missed the medals with a fourth place on Floor and combined forces with Jordan Lipton and Tori Simpson to take fifth in the Women’s Team Event.

And so on to Glasgow 2014 where, in the stunning setting of the SSE Hydro, Gymnastics won their first gold medals since Manchester 2002 and had their most successful Commonwealth Games ever winning two gold, two silver and a bronze. Things got off to the perfect start with the Men’s Team of Liam Davie, Adam Cox, Daniel Keatings, Daniel Purvis and Frank Baines claiming a historic silver, Scotland’s first ever team medal in gymnastics at a Commonwealth Games. For the rest of the week it was the story of the two Daniels, with Keatings and Purvis each winning a further two medals. Keatings became Commonwealth Games Champion on the Pommel Horse as well as winning silver in the Individual All-Around, whilst teammate Daniel Purvis was the only athlete to collect a full set of medals with gold on Parallel Bars and bronze on Rings to add to his Team silver.

Having won their first ever Team Event medal at Glasgow 2014, Scotland’s men followed up with their second at Gold Coast 2018 winning bronze on the opening day. Despite Kelvin Cham being ruled out through injury after a short landing on the Rings, the men rallied in the final four apparatus to finish third behind England and Canada. Frank Baines and Hamish Carter both qualified for the Men’s Individual All-Around Final, where they finished fourth and sixth respectively. There was further success for Team Scotland as Dan Purvis claimed bronze on the Floor, nudging team mate Hamish Carter into fourth and there was a bronze also for Frank Baines on Parallel Bars. Team Scotland’s women placed fifth in the Team event, both Cara Kennedy and Shannon Archer qualified for the Women’s Individual All-Around Final where they finished ninth and 10th respectively and the Vault Final where Shannon was fifth and Cara seventh.

Team Scotland Gymnastics Medallists
Victoria 1994 Bronze – Joanne Walker
Manchester 2002 Gold – Steve Frew, Bronze – Barry Collie
Melbourne 2006 Bronze – Adam Cox
Glasgow 2014 Gold – Daniel Keatings, Daniel Purvis, Silver – Daniel Keatings , Men’s Team (Daniel Keatings, Daniel Purvis, Adam Cox, Frank Baines, Liam Davie), Bronze – Daniel Purvis
Gold Coast 2018 Bronze – Frank Baines, Daniel Purvis, Men’s Team (Daniel Purvis, Frank Baines, Hamish Carter, Kelvin Cham, David Weir)

Youth Games Success

Gymnastics has featured at the Commonwealth Youth Game on three occasions: Edinburgh 2000, Bendigo 2004 and Isle of Man 2011. at the inaugural Games in Edinburgh Scotland’s four women and two men excelled, bringing home two gold, one silver and four bronze medals as the team’s most successful sport of the Games. Craig Barry was also Scotland’s most successful athlete of the Games as he won gold on Vault and silver on Floor. Gayle Campbell made it a clean sweep on Vault for the Scots by winning the women’s event while Michelle Denholm collected four bronze medals in the Rhythmic events.

Bendigo 2004 saw more Scottish success as both men and women won medals in the Team Event for the first time. Two of the men’s team, Adam Cox and Daniel Keatings, went on to be part of another first for the sport – Team Scotland’s first Gymnastics Team medal at the Commonwealth Games – a silver at Glasgow 2014. Adam Cox was in outstanding form in Bendigo winning two gold and three bronze medals. Isle of Man 2011 saw Scotland’s six gymnasts line up in the Team Event on the opening day with the women finishing fourth and the men fifth. This qualified each of the gymnasts for individual events over the weekend with Douglas Ross excelling in the Men’s Vault final to win gold.

Scotland at the Commonwealth Games

The Commonwealth Games is the only occasion where Scotland gets to compete in a multi-sport event as a nation in its own right and is one of only six countries to have competed in every Commonwealth Games since their inception in Hamilton in 1930. Represented by 15 athletes participating in six sports at those first Games, winning a very creditable 10 medals, Scotland have gone on to win medals at every Games since.

Edinburgh became the first city to hold the Games twice in 1970 and 1986 and also became the first city to host the Commonwealth Youth Games.

Scotland hosted the Games for a third time when Glasgow welcomed athletes and officials to the XXth Commonwealth Games which was held from 23rd July – 3rd August 2014. Team Scotland celebrated their most successful Games in history, winning a total of 53 medals and went on to record their highest overseas medal tally ever at Gold Coast 2018.

Find out more about the Commonwealth Games and Team Scotland’s past success in our Past Games section.

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