Commonwealth Games: Scotland on the verge of record after winning six medals

Commonwealth Games: Scotland on the verge of record after winning six medals

Host: Birmingham Events: July 28th to August 8th
Cover: Watch live on BBC TV with additional streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen to BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; Live text and clips online.

Scotland are on the verge of registering their best Commonwealth Games outside of Glasgow 2014 after winning six medals at Birmingham 2022 on Saturday.

Rhythmic gymnast Louise Christie took a historic silver in the women’s ribbon final earlier in the day, before Jake Wightman (1500m) and Laura Muir (800m) took bronze on the track.

Iain McLean did likewise in the Bowls singles, while bantamweight Matthew McHale and welterweight Tyler Jolly also confirmed their bronze medals after losing their semifinals.

Scotland have won 41 medals at the Games – eight gold, nine silver and 24 bronze.

That leaves them just three short of Gold Coast’s total four years ago, which was the highest return apart from Glasgow 2014 – with three more boxing medals guaranteed.

Middleweight Sam Hickey stopped England’s Lewis Richardson in Saturday’s semifinals before light heavyweight Sean Lazzerini did for Tanzania’s Yusuf Lucasi Changalawe. Then Reese Lynch took care of the light welterweight to the Canadian Wyatt Sanford.

All three will fight for gold on Sunday. At worst, they add silver.

However, McHale and Jolly could not keep up. Both thought they had done enough against Northern Ireland’s Dylan Eagleson and Wales’ Ioan Croft respectively, but the judges disagreed.

There was also disappointment for McLean in the semi-finals in the lawn bowls at Victoria Park in Leamington Spa.

After battling through the competition, he lost a place in the gold medal match to Australian Aaron Wilson before bouncing back to beat Malaysian Fairul Izwan Abd Muin to take bronze.

Belter of a routine makes history

Aberdonian Christie – the first Scottish woman to compete in an apparatus tournament since 1994 – showed a sensational routine to hold the lead until the end as Malaysia’s Joe Ee Ng snatched gold.

Word was that the 21-year-old’s routine, which she dreamed up just over a month ago, was going to be “huge fun” and she didn’t disappoint. It was part Scottish trad music, part Insomnia, part Sister Bliss, but 100% great.

And for a long time it looked like it would be enough to give Scotland a ninth gold at these games and equal Australia’s mark last time.

Christie – her ribbon embroidered with the words “Scotland the Brave” – ​​rose to the top of the overall standings with four competitors remaining. One didn’t suit her. Then a second one faltered. A medal was hers. When a third came up short, she had an unbelievable silver around her neck.

Could Ng, 16, refuse her gold? The Malaysian, who had won gold in ball earlier in the day, put on a top-class performance which was reflected in the time it took the judges to deliberate on her score. Years seemed to pass while everyone in the dimmed area stared at the scoreboard.

Cameras were trained on Christie and Ng. Then the result appeared. No gold but it would be hard to say that was anything but a success as the Scot was not even born the last time any of her compatriots featured in one of these finals.

“Waiting for the final result seemed like an eternity but having a medal around my neck was all I wanted,” she told BBC Sport Scotland. “Deep down I knew it was possible to win a medal, but I think it will take a long time to internalize that.”

Boxers only have eyes for gold

Scotland’s boxers may be loud, but they quietly become one of the stories of the games. Hickey and Lazzerini will win at least silver on Sunday, and the team of eight will leave with five medals.

Hickey caused an upset in the second round when he knocked down Team GB teammate Lewis Richardson to reach a final with Australia’s Callum Peters (11:45 BST).

“It was a great shot,” said the European medalist of the sweet right hand that was enough for the Englishman. “We could fight ten times and win five each, but I was just better that day.

“I did a perfect performance and showed people that I’m only here for the gold medal.”

Lazzerini is of the same opinion. He will face off against Taylor Bevan of Wales (12:15 BST) with glory at stake.

“In recent years everyone has given up on me because I’ve been struggling with injuries, but tomorrow I have to get another scalp,” he said. “Tune in if you want to see someone get knocked out.”

Lynch, on the other hand, has looked unrivaled throughout the round in Birmingham despite a difficult draw.

His Canadian opponent didn’t really scare him, as evidenced by the way the Fauldhouse boxer drove through the final lap. Louis Colin of Mauritius now stands in his way (15:15 BST).

“I’ve dealt with three or four top guys and I’m just having fun out there,” he told BBC Sport Scotland. “I don’t have to dream of a gold medal because I’ll have it around my neck tomorrow.”

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