IT MAY not have been the gold rush of the first three days, but Scotland celebrated perhaps its most heartwarming medal of the Commonwealth Games last night when 13-year-old Erraid Davies – the country’s youngest competitor ever – won bronze in the pool.
Shetland schoolgirl Davies won her historic medal in the women’s Para-Sport 100m breaststroke SB9 final at Tollcross after she had set a new personal best for the second time in a day. Davies had come second in the heat yesterday morning and fought her way into the medal positions in the last quarter of the final. Roared on by the partisan poolside crowd, she finished just behind Australian silver medallist Madeleine Scott in one minute and 21.38 seconds, with New Zealand’s Sophie Pascoe taking gold.
Davies said: “I am really, really happy. I knew there were only seven of us in the event and while there was a chance, I didn’t really expect this. I came here wanting to do my best and I had PBs in both heat and final so that’s great. I’ve been working hard on my starts and my turns for the past few weeks and that’s helped me a lot.”
The host nation almost saved the best until last when their men’s 4x200m freestyle relay team pushed hot favourites Australia all the way before claiming a silver amid deafening cheers. England also had a bronze to celebrate as world-record holder Liam Tancock finished behind Australian pair Ben Treffers and Mitch Larkin in the 50m backstroke.
In the 200m individual medley, Hannah Miley added the bronze to her gold in the 400m race, won by England’s Siobhan-Marie O’Connor, who took her medal tally for the Games to five. The 18-year-old, who had already won three silvers and bronze, broke a Games record with a time of 2:08.21, more than two seconds ahead of Australia’s Alicia Coutts.
There were more medals for Scotland in the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome. Katie Archibald was rewarded for some eye-catching races by winning bronze in the Points Race, won by England’s Laura Trott. Archibald said: “It’s that glorious moment when you cross the finish line, you’ve got about ten minutes of just euphoria when you can’t feel anything, and that felt fantastic.”
Aileen McGlynn and her pilot Louise Haston collected a second silver medal of the Games in the Para-Sport Tandem 1,000m Time Trial.
McGlynn said: “I’m just happy to come away with a Commonwealth Games medal, to be honest. We always aim for a gold medal but the English girls are at the top of their game.
“The competition here was the best in the world, in the sprint and the kilo, with the two Australian pairings. Rachael James was pilot at the World Championships for Sophie so it’s top competition. For us to come away with the silver medal, we’re really delighted.”
On her family’s reaction to her competing, she added: “I think they’re really proud of what I’ve done. I’ve been at international level for 12 years now so I think they’re really pleased that I’ve not let my visual impairment hold me back from doing cycling and doing what I want to achieve. Hopefully it’s a message to other people with disabilities to just get out there and do it and don’t let it stop you.”
Haston added: “It’s really, really good. we really wanted For me it’s the biggest competition of my career and I couldn’t have asked for more – two silver medals – so I’m over the moon.”
Scotland also have a great chance of bowls gold in the pairs event today after a stunning last-end win against England yesterday was secured by Alex Marshall. He and partner Paul Foster take on Malaysia in the final at Kelvingrove.