HAMPDEN reached fever pitch again last night as Scotland’s Commonwealth Games poster girl Eilidh Child thrilled the home crowd by claiming a silver medal in the 400 metres hurdles behind Jamaican Kaliese Spencer.
By the time Child lined up for the final, shortly after 8:25pm, Scotland was already celebrating a gold medal won earlier in The Hydro by gymnast Dan Keatings.
Perthshire athlete Child ran a bold race on the rain-soaked track, finishing in a time of 55.02 seconds, with the Jamaican favourite taking a dominant win in 54.10secs. The 27-year-old Child, whose pictures are plastered on billboards across Glasgow, was greeted by deafening cheers from a packed crowd amid a sea of Saltires inside the stadium.
She and Spencer both went off hard in the early stages, but it was the latter who had established a clear lead coming into the home straight and Child could not close the gap.
“I will cherish this silver medal because I’m happy with the way I performed,” said Child.
“It wasn’t the fastest race I’ve run but there was a lot of expectation and I’ve coped with that. I always said I can’t control what other people can do – that’s the reality in sport.
“I tried to shut out the crowd a bit beforehand and concentrate on what I had to do. Afterwards it was amazing and the lap of honour was something very special.”
Keatings joined swimmer Dan Wallace as the most successful individual Scottish athlete of the Games when he added a gold medal on the pommel horse to the two silvers he has won this week. He also became Scotland’s most decorated Commonwealth gymnast of all time, as he pipped English pair Max Whitlock (silver) and Louis Smith (bronze).
“Wow, wow I am really proud to be that,” he said. “All three of us have got the highest start scores in the world, the gold could have gone to any one of us, but I put in the best routine I could do and glad I came out on top.”
Scotland’s gymnasts have excelled at these Games and a further bronze was to follow when Daniel Purvis finished third in the rings event.
On the home crowd urging him, Purvis said: “It has helped so much, the crowd just got behind us and I wanted to perform for them as much as I did myself. They have been so good for everyone.”
Scotland also collected a wrestling medal for a second consecutive day with Alex Gladkov winning bronze in the 65kg weight division.
He said: “Amazing. I can barely speak. I don’t have any energy left, my knee is agony, but I feel fantastic. It was one of the best fights I’ve ever had.
“Looking back, it was probably pretty spectacular. I was trying to finish it early, but the referees gave three points to my opponent and so I had to go the full six minutes.
After his success in the SECC Precinct, Gladkov said: “I’m so happy and I’m really grateful for the crowd. I could feel the support and it helped me along. I’ve never competed in really big competitions, just training for so many years without having the opportunity to win, a bronze medal is not the perfect result but I’m really happy.”
Scotland’s tally heading into day nine of the games now stands at 14 golds, 13 silver and 16 bronze, a total of 43 medals.