Commonwealth Games: Scottish gold rush continues

Eilidh Child grins broadly after winning a silver last night. Picture: Jane Barlow
Eilidh Child grins broadly after winning a silver last night. Picture: Jane Barlow
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It WAS another day of celebration for Scotland yesterday at the Glasgow 2014 Games with gymnast Dan Keatings winning a gold medal in the men’s pommel horse event.

The 24-year-old’s victory ended Scotland’s two-day gold medal drought in the Games with the home nation yesterday winning a total of four medals – a gold, a silver and two bronze.

Team Scotland’s overall tally now stands at an impressive 14 gold, 13 silver and 16 bronze 
giving a record-breaking 43 medals, holding fourth place in the overall medals table behind England, Australia and Canada.

Eilidh Child, one of Scotland’s biggest track stars and a poster girl for the home nation this year, just missed out on adding another gold to the tally in the women’s 400-metre hurdles final.

She won silver in a dramatic final to the roars of the home crowd in Hampden Park.

Keatings’ victory came in a final billed as the ultimate showdown on the apparatus between him, England’s Louis Smith and triple Commonwealth gold medal winner Max Whitlock.

Keatings was seen punching the air at one stage during the competition as he threw down the gauntlet to his opponents. This was nothing to his joy when he held his arms aloft and abandoned his self-disciplined composure to scream with delight when he realised he had won gold.

“It was amazing to be in front of a home crowd and do probably one of my best routines. I’m ecstatic to have won,” Keatings said afterwards.

Whitlock took silver and Smith bronze. Scotland’s Daniel Purvis finished in fifth place.

Child, 27, from Perth finished in 55.02 seconds, behind Jamaican Kaliese Spencer. The Scot was almost in tears when the Hampden crowd sang to her afterwards. At one point, Hearts fan Child appeared to hold up her hands and make a 5-1 gesture to a member of the crowd in reference to her team’s victory over Hibs two years ago.

Speaking after her win, Child said: “The first emotion is relief. It’s been a nervous couple of days and I wanted to execute the race well. I felt I did that and I’m delighted to come away with a medal, I’m over the moon. I just can’t put it into words at the 

Child, who wears a maroon-and-white wrist band when she competes, was asked about the atmosphere when the capacity crowd in the stadium sang along to the song 500 Miles by Hibs fans The Proclaimers, as she celebrated coming second.

The athlete said: “It’s not my favourite song, but it will grow on me now.”

Earlier, Scottish gymnast Dan Purvis won a bronze medal in the men’s rings final in a competition that had been dominated by the Canadian team.

And there was another bronze for Scotland when wrestler Alex Gladkov enjoyed an emotional victory in the men’s wrestling freestyle 65kg. Bloodied but grinning with delight, Gladkov, 28, who was born in Ukraine, said he was dedicating his medal to his grandfather, Leonid, who had to flee his home in Lugansk, on the eastern border with Russia, after it was bombed last month.

Gladkov said: “My mum asked me to bring a medal back for my grandad, who is currently in Russia. He left Ukraine a week ago because the bombing and shooting was so bad.

“I am going to send her the pictures and hopefully I can share a bit of my happiness with my grandad, because he did not have much of that in the last few months.

“As one of my friends said, Russia and Ukraine is my country where I am from, but Glasgow and Scotland is my home.”

Gladkov, who ended the contest with his right knee heavily strapped and a blood-filled mouth, said it was the support of the home crowd which spurred him to victory over Sri Lanka’s Chamara Perera.

“It was one of the hardest fights I’ve ever had and to win is just amazing. I’m exhausted but the crowd really helped. If it wasn’t for their support, I probably wouldn’t have won.”

Gladkov’s win comes a day after fellow Team Scotland member Viorel Etko, who arrived in Britain as an asylum seeker from Moldova, won Scotland’s first wrestling medal since 1994 when he took bronze in the men’s 61kg freestyle.

Yesterday was also a chance for younger members of Team Scotland to get a taste of what the future could hold. Diver James Heatly, 17, from Edinburgh, finished eighth in the men’s 3-metre springboard final. Heatly, a pupil at George Watson’s, is the grandson of Sir Peter Heatly who won three diving golds at Commonwealth Games in the 1950s.