In the first medal event of the Games, a strong swim and a breakaway in the early stages of the bike leg by 20-year-old Marc Austin gave local crowds hope that a Scot might join England’s dominant Brownlee brothers on the podium in the Men’s Triathlon at Strathclyde Country Park.
However the pace set by the reigning World and Olympic champion Alistair, and his younger brother Jonathan, proved too much for Austin who faded in the second half of the 40km ride. In hot conditions, on a punishing course, the 10km run that followed was described by the gritty youngster as ‘not something I want to remember.”
In the end, first Scot home was David McNamee in seventh with Grant Sheldon in 14th and Austin in 22nd. Our Triathletes now look ahead to a second opportunity in the Mixed Team Relay which gets underway on Saturday. The super-sprint Triathlon sees two men and two women each swim 250m, cycle 6km and run 1.6km in a tag-team format.
Team Scotland’s Badminton squad cruised to opening day victories over the Seychelles and Guernsey, both by 5-0, in the Mixed Team Event en route to a Group C decider with New Zealand at the Emirates on Friday evening. All 10 players featured across the two ties but Kirsty Gilmour, Imogen Bankier and Robert Blair were restricted to only one match apiece to retain freshness for battles ahead.
Martin Campbell and Jillie Cooper put the first points on the board for the whole of Team Scotland just before 9.30am on Thursday. Delighted Campbell, who is based in Germany and went to the Commonwealth Youth Games in 2008, said, ‘‘We had our victory over the Seychelles wrapped up quickly and it is a nice one for the CV to be the very first points-scorers for Scotland at Glasgow 2014.’’
Team Scotland’s Lawn Bowlers went unbeaten in the opening games of the group stages. The men’s Triples opened the day by beating India 27-6, with the Men’s Pairs following up by defeating Zambia 25-4.
Women’s Singles player, Caroline Brown, won the first two games of her group, beating Wales 21-18 then Guernsey 2-15, whilst the Women’s Fours won their opening game against the Cook Islands 16-11. In the Mixed Pairs B2/B3 Scotland beat England 10-7 and Wales 16-6.
In the Table Tennis Men’s Team competition Scotland look certain to progress through the group stage after beating Uganda before upsetting the higher seeds Canada 3-1. The men now face Tanzania on Friday.
“It was an epic final game against Canada,” said Team Manager Euan Walker. “They were seeded fifth and we were eighth, so that was a really big result for us. Sean Doherty just lost his match but played unbelievably well. Then Gavin Rumgay won two singles against their number two and three players, and Sean and Craig won the crucial doubles. We won a lot of big points at crucial times.”
Scottish Squash number one Alan Clyne faces top seeded Englishman, Nick Matthew, in the round of 16, having seen off his opponents in the first two rounds of the Singles.
The clash between ninth seed Clyne and No.1 Matthew should be a “spectacular match” according to Scotland Head Coach Roger Flynn.
“They’ve had some very tough physical tussles in the past,” said Flynn. “But that’s the nature of Alan. He tends to make it a pretty tough fight and on glass in front of thousands of Scots it’s going to be difficult for Nick.”
Joining Clyne in the round of 16 is Scotland’s Greg Lobban who beat both his first two opponents of the knockout draw by the same score of 3-0.Scotland’s Kevin Moran won his opening match of the Singles before losing out after a good fight to New Zealand’s Martin Knight, a player who has been consistently in the world’s top 40.
The Rhythmic Gymnastics team missed out on a podium finish in the Team Event but put in a strong performance. Each Scottish Gymnast delivered a number of strong routines to secure a 7th place finish, two places ahead of the last Rhythmic team to represent Scotland at a Commonwealth Games, which finished 9th at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpar.
While the Team missed out on success, there was joy in the Individual Competition. 15 year old Lauren Brash from West Lothian seemed to revel in the big stage in front of the huge home audience, producing four excellent routines (Ball, Hoops, Ribbon & Clubs) and qualifying for tomorrow’s Individual All-Around Final in 15th place. She follows in the footsteps of teammate Vicky Clow who made the Individual All-Around final in Delhi.
On Team Scotland's best ever day one performance, Jon Doig, Chef de Mission Team Scotland said: “I’m incredibly proud of the whole team, not just the medallists but all of our competitors. Athletes like Marc Austin, who showed great determination and spirit in the Triathlon, and our Lawn Bowls team who were unbeaten across all their matches today. Now we look forward to tomorrow with a spring in our step, ready for more outstanding performances from Team Scotland.”
Photo Credit: Rebecca Lee