Scotland’s athletes claimed records, titles and medals across a packed weekend of sport. Here are some of the highlights as the Olympic Games in Rio beckon for some, while others look further ahead to Gold Coast 2018:
Gymnastics: World and Commonwealth medallist Daniel Purvis took his third Scottish senior All-Around title with a commanding display to take gold ahead of Glasgow 2014 team mate Frank Baines at the Scottish Artistic Championships in Perth. Purvis followed his All-Around victory with individual apparatus gold on Pommel, High Bar and Parallel Bars to round off a successful weekend.
“This was my first competition of the year and it feels really good to get out there,” he said. “It was great to test out a couple things, ready to kick off the year. I was really happy with my parallel bars, it was a bit hit and miss with a couple of new skills but I managed to pull it off today so it has given me a lot of confidence going in to the rest of the year.”
In the women’s All-Around City of Glasgow’s Cara Kennedy took her first Scottish title ahead of Sofia Ramzan and club mate Shannon Archer. She was equally successful in the individual apparatus finals with gold on Beam and Bars and silver on Floor.
Athletics: Steph Twell and Jo Moultrie propelled themselves into the British team for the World Indoor Championships with a Scottish one-two in the 3000m at the British Indoor Championships in Sheffield. Fresh from her Native record run at last week’s Glasgow Grand Prix, Twell pulled away in the closing stages to seal her place for the championships in Portland, USA. Moultrie stayed strong and dipped across the line in a personal best, just inside the nine minute selection standard to take silver. They will be joined in Portland by Lynsey Sharp, who took bronze in the 800m and Chris O’Hare (1500m).
Anna Gordon claimed bronze in the pole vault, becoming the first Scottish junior to clear the 4 metre barrier and there were also bronze medals for Maddie Murray (1500m), Sarah Warnock (Long Jump) and Guy Learmonth (800m). Outside the medal winners the stand out performance came from 17 year old Cameron Tindle who erased both senior and junior Scottish indoor records with his 21.14 second run in the 200m heats. Tindle went on to finish 6th in the final against senior athletes and his performance, an improvement of three tenths of a second from his junior record set just two weeks ago, augers well for the outdoor season and his hopes of competing at the World Junior Championships in July.
Shooting: Jen McIntosh secured her best ever finish at the European Air Rifle Championships with 5th place in Gyor, Hungary. After qualifying in 4th, she was a little disappointed with her performance in the final but, with a British record set just a month ago, and her selection for the Rio 2016 Olympics already confirmed, she can look ahead to the Games with confidence. Younger sister Seonaid, British Junior record holder, stepped up to senior competition and gave a good account of herself finishing in the top third of the field.
Boxing: Billy Stuart, a silver medallist at September’s Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, produced a great performance in the Scottish Youth Championships to win gold in the 56kg division. Incredibly this was his seventh Scottish age group title and a great start to the year for the 18 year old. Samoa 2015 team mate John Docherty has made the step up to senior level and goes in the Scottish Elite Championship semi-finals this coming weekend.
Hockey: The Scotland women’s team, on tour in South Africa, scored a brilliant 1-0 victory over their hosts in the final test match in the series. Bouncing back from losses in the first two games, the relatively young and inexperienced side found their rhythm in the third to win through a first international goal from Robyn Collins.
Weightlifting: Following multiple Scottish records at the Scottish Schools Championships just two weeks ago, Youth Team Scotland athlete Rowan Morrogh Bernard rewrote the record books once again at the British Age Group Championships in Castleford with new bests in the Snatch and overall total.
Her record Snatch of 63kg combined with a 75kg Clean & Jerk, just one kilogram short of her best, took her to bronze in the under 17 girls’ championship. At 138kg her total was not only a Scottish best but also a second qualifying score for the European Youth Championships. Her sister Holly took silver in the younger age group with a Scottish age group record 54kg Snatch with her total of 121kg giving her another Scottish record.