THE Gold Rush continued for Scotland on the second day of competition at the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games with three new champions for the home fans to hail.
The most dramatic triumph came late last night at the Tollcross swimming centre when Dan Wallace triumphed in the 400 metres individual medley, beating Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes into second place and Sebastien Rousseau of South Africa into third.
Earlier, visually impaired cyclist Neil Fachie and his pilot Craig MacLean stormed to victory in the men’s Para-Sport 1,000m Time Trial B2 tandem at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.
And judo player Sarah Clark was crowned champion in the under-63kg weight division.
When asked what he shouted at the end of his race, Wallace said: “I yelled at the top of my lungs for freedom. Being here in front of a home crowd really brought out the Braveheart spirit and true Scot in me.”
On the race, he added: “I knew where I had to be at the 200m mark and knew I had the best breaststroke left in the field.”
Reigning Paralympic champion Fachie, from Aberdeen, said after his emotional win in Scotland colours: “We’ve worked really hard for this and that ride was the most painful experience of either of our lives I think. So I think we deserve this medal.
“We’ve both stood on top of the podium many a time but you know, obviously, to do it for Scotland in Scotland is something most athletes can only dream of so it was a nice moment that we’ll never forget.
“London was phenomenal and obviously the crowd there was slightly bigger but I’ll tell you the noise level here was just as loud here and if it hadn’t been for that crowd cheering us on at the end I’m not sure we would have made it.” Edinburgh judoka Clark also praised the home crowd for their support:
“Self motivation gets you doing this sport at home and on the mat but the crowd here brings additional motivation. It adds a bit of pressure but it’s how you deal with that when it counts that matters.
“The last ten months have been building up to this. As I started getting better and fitter again I knew I wanted this.”
Also in judo, Sally Conway took the bronze medal in the under-70kg category and again she paid tribute to the backing of the crowd, saying: “It’s really helped push me through today. I was so gutted about the semi-final that I’ve really had to try to pick myself back up again for the bronze fight and without the crowd and the support of my coaches and family and team-mates I don’t think I would have been able to do it today. It was tough but I’m really happy I fought the way I did in the bronze fight to get that bronze medal.”
In the pool, Corrie Scott took a surprise bronze in the 50m breaststroke. She said: “If someone told me this time last week or last year I’d win bronze at the Commonwealth Games, I would have laughed in their face!”
There is no medal yet for Motherwell’s Reece McFadden but he produced a sensation in the flyweight boxing by defeating world No 1 and hot gold medal favourite Andrew Selby of Wales.