Events boost for home medal hopes in Glasgow

SCOTLAND’S hopes of a greatest-ever medal tally at Glasgow 2014 have been boosted by a number of decisions taken by the Commonwealth Games Federation.

Some events which had been dropped from the programme after last year’s Games in Delhi have been reinstated, while the paralympic programme will ensure that some of Scotland’s most talented disability athletes can compete on home soil.

The amendments to the able-bodied programme have yet to be formally adopted by the Glasgow 2014 organisers but seem certain to be included, given the effect they will have on the home team’s chances. Most notably, in shooting, the proposed reinstatement of the women’s individual 50-metre rifle prone competition gives Jennifer McIntosh the opportunity to defend the title she won with a Games record score last year. However, the pairs event, which McIntosh won with with Kay Copland, has not been reintroduced.

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The decision to award two bronze medals in judo and wrestling, rather than have a play-off for third place, could also have an effect on the home team’s tally. The addition of a triathlon team event was approved and Glasgow will also feature women’s boxing and rugby sevens.

The number of parasport events has been increased from 15 to 20, and the programme has now been finalised. Athletics, cycling and swimming are among the sports which will include para events.

In athletics, blind sprinter Libby Clegg will be able to compete in the race in which she is the current world champion, the T12 100m.

There will also be men’s sprints, a wheelchair race for both men and women, and a women’s long jump in the F44 category in which Stefanie Reid competes. Clegg and Reid are both on the top level of UK Athletics funding for next year’s Olympic Games, as are two Scottish able-bodied athletes, Steph Twell and Lee McConnell.

Cyclists Aileen McGlynn and Neil Fachie will be able to compete on the track in their categories – McGlynn is the reigning Paralympic champion and Fachie won two gold medals at this year’s world championships. The swimming events include the men’s S8 category, in which Sean Fraser won backstroke silver in India last year.

Meanwhile, Canadian concern over problems at last year’s Delhi Commonwealth Games may have spoiled the Sri Lankan city of Hambantota’s hopes of staging the 2018 event, bid committee head Ajith Nivard Cabraal claimed yesterday. The Commonwealth Games Federation opted for Australia’s Gold Coast by a 43-27 margin over Hambantota, the only other contender, in a vote held in St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean on Friday.

Cabraal said Canada had raised last minute questions about the Delhi Games, where government intervention was required to clean up filthy facilities and dangerous infrastructure.

“That all was countered but it created certain fear among some of the voting delegates, who associated India with Sri Lanka,” said Cabraal.