Holligan leads Scotland into Youth Games

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Edinburgh sprinter Tom Holligan had the honour of carrying the flag for Scotland at the opening ceremony of the fourth Commonwealth Youth Games, on the Isle of Man.

The 17-year-old carried the Saltire at the head of the team for last night’s ceremony at the Bowl Stadium in Douglas.

It has been a successful year for Holligan, who won a gold and a silver medal at the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey. He won the 200m with a personal best time of 21.46 and helped the men’s 4x100m relay team to the silver medal.

Holligan was voted as flagbearer by his Scotland team-mates after a shortlist of three was selected at the team camp last month. Fellow shortlisted nominees, swimmer Craig Benson (Livingston) and cyclist Grant Ferguson (Peebles) walked behind Holligan into the opening ceremony, followed by the rest of the team.

“I think everyone saw from my face when the announcement was made that I was shocked”, said Holligan ahead of last night’s ceremony. “It’s an honour to be nominated within my sport, because there are some superb athletes, but to be recognised by the whole team is fantastic.

“I’m really proud and it’ll be brilliant to lead the team out in the opening ceremony.

“When you look at what Grant and Craig have both achieved this year, to be put on the same list as them is phenomenal.

“I feel humbled to have been shortlisted but it’s an amazing feeling to have been chosen as the flagbearer. My mum will be delighted!” Commonwealth Games Scotland chairman Michael Cavanagh added: “Tom has already shown this year that he is a fantastic athlete, and we have been really impressed with his attitude and professionalism as a member of Youth Team Scotland.

“I am delighted that Tom has been recognised by his fellow athletes and I know he will lead by example.”

Holligan follows in the footsteps of Louise Carroll (hockey), Gemma Nicol (athletics) and Lisa Glover (athletics), who carried the flag at the 2000, 2004 and 2008 youth games.