Scotland’s fourth most successful Commonwealth Games sport, with 51 medals won, Shooting can also boast the nation’s most decorated male and female athlete in Games history as well as the most successful male and female athlete at a single Games. With all this achieved since Colin McEachran and Alister Allan won Scotland’s first medals in the sport in 1974, none of the 12 Games since would look out of place on a top five list. From the highest number of medals won to record performances and historic firsts, here are just some of the highlights from 45 years of Team Scotland medal success.
Delhi 2010 – Gold Rush and Highest Medal Tally
Shooting was Scotland’s top sport at Delhi 2010, winning nine medals: four gold, three silver and two bronze. The four gold came in a clean sweep of the 50m Rifle Prone events as Jon Hammond and Jen McIntosh took individual victories before teaming up with Neil Stirton and Kay Copland respectively to add gold in the Pairs events. Both pairs also took bronze in the 3 Positions, with Jon adding silver in the individual event. With two gold, one silver and one bronze Jon became Scotland’s most successful athlete at a single Games, while Jen’s tally of two gold and one bronze was the best female performance at a single Games.
Shona Marshall came up trumps with a silver in the Individual Trap event and it was also silver for Angus McLeod and Ian Shaw in the Fullbore Pairs.
Brisbane 1982 – Golden Double for Alister Allan
Seven of the 11 shooters in Brisbane won medals, led by a golden double for Alister Allan. He took victory in the Individual 3 Position event, ahead of England’s future double Olympic champion Malcolm Cooper, and added a second gold in the Air Rifle Pairs alongside Bill MacNeil. The pair were on the podium once again with bronze in the 3 Position Pairs, taking Alister’s overall medal tally to five, just one behind Scotland’s top performing Games athlete at that time, sprinter Allan Wells. Alister would go on to eclipse Allan’s record as he added another five medals over a further three Games appearances.
Scotland’s other gold medallist at these Games was Arthur Clarke, who put in a brilliant performance to win the Fullbore Rifle Queen’s Prize. While Fullbore remains a successful discipline for Scotland, with medals in the Pairs event at the last three Games, Arthur’s win is Scotland’s only Fullbore gold to date. Scotland won their first ever pistol medals as James Cairns won silver in the Centre Fire Pistol event and took a second silver in the Rapid Fire Pistol Pairs alongside Hugh Hunter. There was also a first as Martin Girvan and James Young won bronze in the Trap Pairs, Scotland’s first medal in a Clay Target event.
Melbourne 2006 – Sharp and Jackson Turn Silver to Gold
Shooting was in the spotlight before competition began as Ian Marsden, competing at his sixth Games, was named as Team Scotland flag bearer for the Opening Ceremony. Gold medallist in 1990 and bronze in 1994, both in the Men’s Skeet Pairs, Ian finished 6th in the Pairs with Mike Thomson and 9th in the individual event in Melbourne.
Neil Stirton and Martin Sinclair got the ball rolling with Scotland’s first Shooting medal of the Games with silver in the Men’s Prone Pairs, setting a Scottish record of 1179 in the process. Having taken silver in the Women’s Prone Pairs four years previously in Manchester, Sheena Sharp and Susan Jackson made it gold Down Under, Sheena showing tremendous form with the top score of the competition on 588. Sheena added a second gold in the individual event. One shot ahead going into the final round, all three of the top ranked competitors shot scores of 98 out of 100, giving Sheena the gold.
Elsewhere Emma Cole-Hamilton set two Scottish records – with Susan Jackson as they finished sixth in the Women’s 3 Position Pairs and with Heather Rudd in the Women’s Air Rifle Pairs, finishing in 8th place. Ian Shaw and Lindsay Peden were just outside the medals in the Fullbore Pairs in 4th.
Victoria 1994 – First Female Medallists
Shooting events were split by gender for the first time in 1994 and Shirley McIntosh & Patricia Littlechild were straight off the mark with Scotland’s first Women’s Shooting medals, winning gold, silver and bronze between them. They combined forces on day one for silver in the Prone Pairs before an outstanding performance in the Individual event saw Shirley take gold with 586 and Patricia finish just a single point behind for bronze.
Alister Allan added two medals, a silver in the Men’s 3 Position Pairs with Bill Murray and bronze in the individual event, to bring his overall Commonwealth Games tally to 10. He remains Scotland’s most decorated Games athlete in history. Further bronze medals came from David Rattray and Robin Law in the Men’s Air Rifle Pairs and Ian Marsden and Mike Thomson in the Men’s Skeet Pairs.
Gold Coast 2018 – Sensational Six
Competing at his sixth Commonwealth Games and chasing his third back-to-back Commonwealth Games medal, Ian Shaw took bronze in the Fullbore Open Queen’s Prize Pairs alongside Games debutant, Sandy Walker. David McMath, competing at his first Games, took Scotland’s first ever individual gold in the Men’s Double Trap, setting a Games record in a thrilling final, while Linda Pearson, competing in her second Games after missing out in 2014, also showed Scotland’s prowess at Double Trap with a bronze, to win her first Games medal.
With a gold, silver and bronze to his name from previous Games, Neil Stirton was selected for his fourth Games and took his fourth medal – his first in an individual event – with silver in the Men’s 50m Rifle Prone. Seonaid McIntosh added to her family’s Commonwealth Games legacy, with two bronze medals in the Women’s 50m Rifle events rounding out a successful Games on the range up in Brisbane.