DCSIMG

Glasgow 2014: The final verdict

Charlie Flynn's gold medal, one of our reporters' many highlights. Picture: TSPL

Charlie Flynn's gold medal, one of our reporters' many highlights. Picture: TSPL

OUR reporters have enjoyed ringside seats during the last 11 days of magnificent competition. Here they give us their verdicts on Glasgow 2014.

STUART BATHGATE

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Dan Wallace winning swimming gold then shouting out “For freedom!” Great sport and, whatever your politics, great theatre.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Journalists, in a press conference, asking Usain Bolt for a selfie. Self-indulgent and unprofessional.

GAMES HERO

Lynsey Sharp for having the courage and determination to win a silver medal in the 800 metres around 14 hours after she had been on a drip in hospital.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

Inspiring and unforgettable.

MOIRA GORDON

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

So many to choose from but probably the final night of action in pool, with the Scotland team all in kilts, Dan Wallace medalling and the crowd going nuts. All that was missing was a gold and the national anthem.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

The sport was excellent. It’s just a shame we had to suffer the transport problems and Karen Dunbar.

GAMES HERO

Lynsey Sharp winning silver despite the fact she had been so ill the night before. Embodied the spirit of all the Team Scotland athletes.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

The athletes and the crowds were amazing – memories will live long.

ALAN PATTULLO

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Neil Fachie and Craig MacLean winning a second gold medal in the men’s sprint B tandem.

MacLean helps power Fachie, who is visually impaired, to glory, at the same time re-announcing himself to the cycling world at age 42.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Nigeria’s Chika Amalaha wins weightlifting gold for her country and then tests positive for diuretics.

It’s a tale heard many times before but making this seem sadder still is her age – just 16 – which makes it clear this was not her own decision.

GAMES HERO

The volunteers – must we call them clyde-siders? – who gave up their time, often starting shifts at eye-wateringly early hours, to ensure things progressed smoothly.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

So it’s true after all, Glasgow smiles better.

AIDAN SMITH

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Para-sport side-by-side with able-bodied. None more astonishing than bowling’s men’s triples bronze match, Scotland losing to an England three comprising a man in a wheelchair, another with an artificial leg and a third who bowled with his feet.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Corporate no-shows. Arrogance or incompetence or both, this denied families tickets, even families of competitors.

GAMES HERO

Lynsey Sharp. Tough choice but she edges Euan Burton, Alex “Tattie” Marshall and all the plucky, striving but lapped stragglers for an astonishing sickbed-to-silver performance.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

A bit s***? No actually, a bit fun, a bit cheering, a bit inspiring, a bit proud-to-be-Scottish and a bit wonderful.

STEPHEN HALLIDAY

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Charlie Flynn winning lightweight boxing gold. The Lanarkshire youngster delivered one of the finest displays of ringcraft by any Scottish boxer, amateur or professional, in recent memory.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Hungarian judge Roland Juhasz inexplicably giving the final round of Flynn’s final to his outclassed Northern Irish opponent Joe Fitzpatrick, an example of some occasionally bewildering scoring by boxing officials at the Games.

GAMES HERO

Steve Way. Once a 16-stone, 20-a-day smoker, the former couch potato completed a remarkable change of lifestyle to finish tenth in the marathon and capture the hearts of those who lined the Glasgow route.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

Even for the most cynical of pre-Games sceptics, it delivered in terms of both feelgood factor and memorable moments.

MARTIN HANNAN

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Watching Charlie Flynn and Josh Taylor win boxing gold inside 45 minutes on Saturday.

This was truly special for me as a boxing correspondent and as someone who had watched their careers develop, and the roars that greeted their wins made me learn what the phrase “shivers up your spine” means.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Usain Bolt s***gate – not least because it was clear that Bolt was talking about the weather – and it was s*** that day.

GAMES HERO

Reece McFadden, boxing bronze winner. He set the boxing tournament alight when he beat the world No 1 Andrew Selby with exuberance, and having reviewed the semi-final, I agree with Reece that he was robbed of victory.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

Exciting, exhausting, excellent – the best multi-sports event I have ever attended, and though not the biggest, nor featuring the very highest quality of sport, it was still utterly magnificent and made me very proud to be Scottish.

ANDREW SMITH

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

The opening of the opening ceremony. Can’t believe so few appreciated the Mel Brooks-style knowing kitsch and mocking of Scottish stereotypes within which the organisers also brilliantly succeeded in making political points through presenting, to a horrifically homophobic Commonwealth, a lesbian woman and gay man as the first faces of Glasgow 2014.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

The briefing given to Team England about how to deal with crowd booing. The warmth and support transmitted to all competitors, and especially those from all the home nations, demonstrated that Scotland is a far more mature nation than some obviously considered.

GAMES HERO

Patrick Hulbert, editor of Bowls International: This delightful young fella was so faultlessly kind and giving in sharing his wealth of knowledge that I almost felt a degree of expertise by my fourth day – and 400th question – covering the sport.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

An ephemeral pleasure that showed the best of a great, though, in general health terms, greatly troubled city.

ANNE DUNWOODIE

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

The bowls staged at the majestic Kelvingrove venue in the west end of the City. Nothing will ever eclipse this venue no matter where the Games are held. It was surely inspirational for the bowls team with the men producing an almost flawless display to claim three of the four gold medals in front of a sensational home support.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Disappointed for the women’s bowls team. So near yet so far, going down 21-20 for a semi-final berth in the singles, defeated with the last bowl in the fours bronze medal play-offs, and missing the cut in the pairs, again on the last bowl.

GAMES HERO

I didn’t get many opportunities to watch other sports as the bowls was full on from 8:45 every day until after 9pm. But for me it was Alex Marshall who appears to have landed with the mantle of pin-up boy! Along with Paul Foster they trailed South Africa 15-7 with three ends to play but rode out the storm with a 3, 1 and a 5 on the last end and then Marshall produced accuracy beyond belief to roll in a front and back toucher with his last two bowls in the final to take the pairs title 16-15 against England.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

As the slogan says: “People Make Glasgow”.

LAURA COTTON

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Watching squash live – it’s a sport that doesn’t really get a lot of coverage and being able to see how demanding and skilful it is was great, especially from watching players like Nick Matthew and Nicol David.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Covering gymnastics – I can’t even do a forward roll so I’ve never really followed gymnastics, and understanding the qualifying process was a nightmare.

GAMES HERO

Women’s No 1 squash player Nicol David – I had the pleasure of interviewing her after one of her matches and although she has been No 1 for eight years, she was incredibly down to earth. Great to watch on the court.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

A brilliant showcase of sport where you could really feel the buzz from the city.

ELSPETH BURNSIDE

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Kirsty Gilmour winning women’s singles silver medal. She started slowly in the team badminton event but got better and better as week went on.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

The incredibly high level of security around the venues. It looked ghastly and meant having to walk all around buildings to get in.

GAMES HERO

Ross Murdoch. Unknown at the time of the 2012 Olympics – now a world-class swimmer who grabbed his opportunity.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

Great for spectators and a chance for Scots in so-called minority sports to enjoy, however brief, some time in the limelight.

PAUL FORSYTH

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

To win gold on the pommel horse, Scotland’s Dan Keatings needed to beat world-class opponents in a world-class final. And he did.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Ironic or not, the first 20 minutes of the opening ceremony communicated to the world every last one of Scotland’s embarrassing stereotypes.

GAMES HERO

The 13-year-old para-swimmer Erraid Davies won bronze in the women’s 100 breaststroke without even telling her pals that she was competing.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

After the disappointment of Delhi, sunny, smiley Glasgow gave the Commonwealth Games a much-needed shot in the arm.

RODDY MACKENZIE

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Lynsey Sharp’s gutsy run for 800 metres silver after a troubled year was as courageous a performance as any.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Australian weightlifter Francois Etoundi’s head-butt on Welsh rival Gareth Evans was hardly in keeping with the “Friendly Games”.

GAMES HERO

No-one has contributed more to his sport than flag-bearer Euan Burton and his gold medal was worthy reward.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

It has been used before but this time Glasgow undoubtedly proved it smiles better.

IAIN MORRISON

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

200 metres women’s final. Three young English sprinters finish second, third and fourth and Hampden rises as one to applaud their efforts. It hasn’t always been so.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

The entire, sorry, embarrassing Usain Bolt press conference. Really!?

GAMES HERO

Several thousand hugely helpful volunteers. They made the Games what they were.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

The Friendly Games…just like it says on the tin.

RICHARD MOORE

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Viorel Etko’s wrestling gold medal. Etko is a Moldovan who arrived in London as an asylum seeker in 1998, then moved to Glasgow, married a Commonwealth Games gymnast and now considers Scotland his home. His pride and joy in winning a gold medal in front of his nine-year-old son is my Games highlight.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Food. Scotland has great food. None of it appeared to be available in any of the Commonwealth Games venues.

GAMES HERO

Sandy Gilchrist, mechanic to the Scotland cycling team. From Craig MacLean and Neil Fachie’s tandem to Katie Archibald’s four different bikes, Gilchrist was the man who quietly, with maximum efficiency and minimum fuss, kept the show on the road. A stalwart of the sport in Scotland, he was also a top rider who finished seventh in the 1974 Commonwealth Games road race.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

An absolute triumph, as we always knew it would be.

MARK WOODS

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Marc Austin’s fearless performance in the triathlon. Rather than settling for the middle of the pack, the Scot took the race to the brilliant Brownlee Brothers – even though he blew up, that ambition will take him far.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Having so many Scots and Scotland teams who did little to justify the investment in their “talents” reinforced my view that this was a bloated squad. If they are distinctly mediocre in an event that is largely average in world terms, then our taxes would be better diverted towards creating Olympic and world champions rather than focusing resources on a jolly but third-tier Games.

GAMES HERO

Mark Dry in the hammer. Not so much for his bronze – which was great – but for immediately targeting an Olympic medal. That’s a proper competitor.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

Good fun, well-run, and proof that Scottish sport is about much more than just football.

NEIL McGLADE

GAMES HIGHLIGHT

Atmosphere inside the SSE Hydro for boxing finals. Seeing Charlie Flynn (60kg) and Josh Taylor (64kg) win gold for Scotland was special, and the atmosphere of 10,000 roaring the pair on to success was simply electric.

GAMES LOWLIGHT

Prices for refreshments in and around the SECC and media centre. Cost of food and drink was extortionate and must be looked at for future Games in what is already an expensive time for visitors both here and overseas.

GAMES HERO

Josh Taylor: Having covered Josh for the past two years since he competed at London 2012, it’s nice to see all his hard work rewarded with a Commonwealth gold.

GLASGOW 2014 IN A SENTENCE

Fulfilling and how sports journalists should view their work – at the heart of the action.

 

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