TEAM Scotland’s medal tally passed the 50 mark yesterday with boxers Charlie Flynn and Josh Taylor winning gold at the Hydro arena, and the badminton duo of Robert Blair and Imogen Bankier picking up bronze.
Flynn, 20, claimed the lightweight 60kg title, while Taylor, 23, walked away with the top prize in the welterweight 64kg competition.
Mixed-doubles team Blair and Bankier earlier picked up Scotland’s first badminton medal. The pair defeated Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon and Lai Pei Jing in a dramatic match, which ended with the Scots winning 2-0.
An emotional Bankier, 26, cried after the final point and embraced her proud father Ian, chairman of Celtic FC, as she left court. She said: “The season building up to this week has been very stressful at times. We have had amazing highs and terrible lows, all for this tournament.
“Losing this morning was incredibly disappointing, so to pick ourselves up from that and come out and perform this evening was a challenge. But we are so happy and it is very special to do it in front of a home crowd.”
Team Scotland have now won 52 medals – 19 gold – making Glasgow 2014 the country’s most successful Commonwealth campaign. At least one more medal is guaranteed, with badminton player Kirsty Gilmour through to the gold medal match today.
Flynn, a postman from Motherwell, saw off Northern Ireland’s Joe Fitzpatrick to win his first Commonwealth title in front of a passionate home crowd. Speaking after his match, he said: “The crowd are unbelievable, every time you land a punch it’s like a thunderclap. They were ants [from up in the ring], ants that sounded like lions. The Mail Man delivers again.
“I don’t know what’s next, maybe the Olympics. A lot of funding is needed for that. I’m part-time, and a lot of these fighters are full-time.”
Team-mate Taylor also took gold after beating Junias Jonas of Namibia, winning Scotland’s 19th gold of the competition. “I’ve dreamed of this moment 1,000 times over.”
Mike Whittingham, performance director at the sportscotland institute of sport, said: “Congratulations to Charlie Flynn and Josh Taylor for their terrific performances.
“They fought fantastically in front of an ecstatic home crowd, and their success, coupled with the bronze medals won by team-mates Reece McFadden and Stephen Lavelle, means it has been a successful Games for Scotland’s boxers.”
An emotional crowd at the Hydro – which was transformed overnight on Friday from a gymnastics arena to a boxing ring – sang Flower of Scotland as the two boxers celebrated their wins.