Ten Scots stars who can dazzle at Rio Olympics

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There are 50 Scots in the 366-strong Great Britain team for the Rio Olympics, which get under way tonight.

It is a record for an away Games following the 55 who were included in the 541 who made up the bumper London 2012 team. Here we look at ten stand-out Scots who could shine in Brazil.

New British 1500m record holder Laura Muir will hope to take her impressive form on to the track in Rio. Picture: Getty Images

New British 1500m record holder Laura Muir will hope to take her impressive form on to the track in Rio. Picture: Getty Images

ANDY MURRAY (Tennis)

The reigning Olympic champion will defend his title fresh from winning his second Wimbledon title last month. He is bound to be in confident mood and, having skipped the post-Wimbledon Davis Cup tie, should be physically refreshed.

World No 1 Novak Djokovic lurks as the obvious threat and, smarting from his early exit at the All-England Club, will be determined to make amends. Murray will also team up with his brother Jamie in the men’s doubles.

EILIDH DOYLE (Athletics)

The former European 400m hurdles champion and Commonwealth silver medallist has enjoyed two Diamond League wins this season, including a PB of 54.09 in Monaco, and will be hoping to make up for the disappointment of not making the final at London 2012. She is a definite medal chance but, with only the sixth fastest time in the world this year, will have to improve again in Rio. She will also be a key member of the 4x400m relay team.

LAURA MUIR (Athletics)

The Milnathort runner is Scotland’s form athlete of the moment and the emerging star of UK athletics. At the recent London Anniversary Games in the Olympic Stadium the veterinary medicine student at the University of Glasgow broke the long-standing British 1500m record of Dame Kelly Holmes, clocking 3min 57.49 to beat the legendary double Olympic champion’s mark of 3min 57.90.

STEPH TWELL (Athletics)

After winning 1500m bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi 2010, the now 26-year-old was one of Britain’s most promising young athletes and poised to forge her career at longer distances when she suffered a horrific ankle break in a cross-country race in 
Belgium five years ago. Twell has battled back and won the British 5000m title at the recent trials, ahead of fellow Scots Eilish McColgan and Laura Whittle, who will join her in the event in Rio.

KATHERINE GRAINGER (Rowing)

London 2012 was full of 
fairytale stories but few could compete with the emotion of the Scot’s gold in the double sculls with Anna Watkins in the cauldron of Eton Dorney. It was a classic bridesmaid becomes the bride story after the now 40-year-old finally topped the podium 
following three successive 
silvers.

Grainger’s road to Rio has been rocky as she and new partner Vicky Thornley switched their focus to making the women’s eight team. They failed in that bid and have returned to double sculls, where Grainger will look to become Britain’s most decorated female Olympian – an accolade she currently shares with fellow quadruple medal winner Rebecca Adlington.

MARK BENNETT (Rugby sevens)

The 23-year-old Glasgow Warriors and Scotland centre is the most high-profile 15-a-side player in the Great Britain squad as sevens makes its Olympic debut.

In 2015 he claimed a Guinness Pro12 winner’s medal with Glasgow and was a star performer at the Rugby World Cup, memorably scoring the intercept try which took Scotland to within a whisker of beating Australia and reaching the semi-finals. That helped earn him a nomination for the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award and he now has 16 caps to his name.

Bennett competed for Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and is joined in the 12-man GB squad by fellow Scot Mark Robertson, two Welshmen and eight English players.

KATIE ARCHIBALD (Cycling)

The 22-year-old Glaswegian, who won points race bronze in her home town during the 2014 Commonwealth Games, joins Laura Trott, Elinor Barker, Ciara Horne and Joanna Rowsell-Shand in the women’s team pursuit squad that is viewed as one of GB’s top gold medal hopes in the velodrome.

Archibald, from Milngavie, was part of a World Championships-winning team in 2014, and has six European Championship golds to her name. She has recovered from knee and elbow injuries sustained in a motorbike crash which saw her miss this year’s World Cup and World Championships.

ROSS MURDOCH (Swimming)

The swimmer from Balloch was one of the iconic Scottish golds at Glasgow 2014 when he shocked Games posterboy Michael Jamieson to win the 200m breaststroke.

In Rio he will compete in the shorter 100m distance and is up against Englishman Adam Peaty, who is favourite to win gold. Swimming was one of the few damp squibs for Team GB at London 2012 and the squad, of which Scots make up a third with eight selections, will be looking to improve in Rio.

CATRIONA MATTHEW (Golf)

The 2009 Women’s British Open champion will be joined by Charley Hull as Britain’s contenders in the women’s strokeplay as golf returns to the Olympics for the first time in 112 years. She is in good form after shooting a 65 at the recent British Open where she tied for fifth.

Many of the top male golfers have pulled out of the Olympics but the North Berwick woman views it as one of the highlights of a glittering career which has seen her earn over 100 top-ten finishes on the LPGA Tour and compete in eight Solheim Cups.

DAVID FLORENCE (Canoe slalom)

The 33-year-old Aberdonian won silver in London but is now aiming to go better not once but twice as he aims to be the first canoeist to win gold in both C1 and C2 races in Rio. Florence was one of the first athletes confirmed in Team GB last year and the British canoe team have spent more time than any other nation except for Brazil training at the host venue. While Richard Hounslow will be his partner in the C2 event, the Englishman will be one of his biggest rivals in the C1.

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