A STUNNING silver medal glittered among the three latest golds to be won by Team Scotland yesterday as Lynsey Sharp defied the odds to finish second in the Commonwealth Games 800 metres final at Hampden last night.
The Edinburgh athlete had looked in pain during qualifying and only squeaked into the final in one of the fastest loser spots. Looking out of sorts, and having suffered an injury-plagued year, Sharp appeared to have only an outside chance of a medal, but just as Eilidh Child had done in the 400m hurdles final 24 hours earlier, she produced an electrifying run to earn a richly-deserved silver medal behind winner Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya.
An emotional Sharp, whose parents Cameron and Carol both represented Scotland at the Commonwealth Games, said: “It does not feel real. The past year has been a nightmare with injuries and illnesses and I wasn’t at all well through the night. But it just came down to me having one shot at it – for two minutes. And I’ve made it onto the podium for a silver medal.”
Sharp’s performance which preceded a typically brilliant run by the world’s fastest man Usain Bolt in the 4 x 100m relay, capped another great day for Team Scotland as the Games head into their final weekend.
There were two gold medals on the bowling green as Darren Burnett won the men’s singles title at Kelvingrove as he defeated Canada’s Ryan Bester 21-9. His victory followed Alex Marshall, Paul Foster, David Peacock and Neil Spiers’ triumph earlier in the day after the home nation beat England 16-8 in the fours final. The Scots had waited eight years for a Commonwealth gold medal before Marshall and Foster won the pairs event on Monday but Burnett’s victory after 19 ends means they close out Glasgow 2014 with three – their best result since 1994.
And a wonderful week for the artistic gymnastics team had a golden finish as Dan Purvis topped the podium in the Parallel Bars – his third medal of the Games after a team silver and bronze in the Rings.
Purvis said: “I am just over the moon to be honest, coming in today I didn’t expect to get gold, just to get another medal in front of a home crowd would be fantastic, I am absolutely over the moon.”
Reflecting on a week of unprecedented success for Scotland, Purvis added: “It has just been great all round for the sport and gymnastics and for people watching, everyone is just pushing each other, there’s so many people that could have won a medal in this competition and I think that is just great for the sport.”
There were notable Scottish boxing successes too as Josh Taylor (64kg) and Charlie Flynn (60kg) set up gold medal fights at the Hydro.
Taylor said: “I knew I had the first round and that I’d maybe just edged the second. We’ve been on the GB programme together for years so we know how we fight and I knew what I had to do. I knew what he’d be looking for with me so I worked hard to counter that. Tomorrow will be incredible and I’m set on gold.”
Flynn said: “It’s going to be something special.”