Team Scotland: Five Scots to watch at Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games

There is little to be gained by toting medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Team Scotland brought back 44 from the Gold Coast, including nine golds, down from an all-time high of 53 in Glasgow that brought an outstanding 19 golds.

Here are five athletes to keep a beady eye on in Birmingham.

Neil Fachie

The para-cycling star returns to the boards on which he struck Paralympic gold a decade ago.

London’s velodrome is being used for these Games and Fachie took victory in the tandem kilo event in world record time back in 2012.

The Aberdeen star did the same in Tokyo, piloted by Matt Rotherham, but this time he will be piloted by Lewis Stewart from Killean.

Fachie, 38, is far from finished in the sport and insists he’s carrying on to the Paris 2024 Paralympics and potentially beyond.

Para-cycling star Neil Fachie is widely expected to add to his four Commonwealth golds at Birmingham 2022. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

He has strong rivals in Home Nations riders but would widely expect to add to his four Commonwealth golds.

Jake Wightman

With his incredible 1500m world title win Wightman overnight became one of the star attractions of the Commonwealth Games.

The Edinburgh ace will be joined by Olympic bronze medallist Josh Kerr and gutsy Glaswegian Neil Gourley in an improbably strong Scottish contingent for the metric mile.

Jake Wightman will bid for 1500m gold at Birmingham 2022 after his stunning world title last week. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for World Athletics)

Wightman now has a target on his back and whether he will be allowed to strike for home with 250m to go will be a vexed question, answered on 6 August.

It could be the race of the Games, fit to lace the boots of John Landy and Roger Bannister’s ‘Miracle Mile’ of 1954.

Kirsty Gilmour

Belshill badminton star Kirsty Gilmour will bid to add to her Glasgow silver and Gold Coast bronze. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Gilmour is a redoubtable competitor who has produced some of her best badminton since returning to play after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ranked 18 in the world the Bellshill native won the fourth European Championships medal of her career in April, taking silver behind 2016 Olympic champion Carolina Marin.

Gilmour has proven she belongs among the world’s very best - and many of them won’t be present to rival her in Birmingham.

India’s megastar PV Sindhu is a formidable opponent, but the 28-year-old will be confident of adding to her Glasgow silver and Gold Coast bronze.

Sammi Kinghorn

The wheelchair racer grew up on a farm near Gordon and was taught to deliver lambs at the age of five, loving animals so much she wanted to be a zoologist.

Wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn will compete over 1500m at Birmingham 2022.

In 2010, Kinghorn and her father were clearing snow at the farm when she climbed onto a forklift and he lowered the beam onto his daughter, shattering her spinal cord.

A decade later she won her first Paralympic medal, bronze, in Tokyo in the 100m.

She will race over a very different distance here, 1500m, but Kinghorn will be equal to this challenge, as she has all others.

Alex Marshall

The man they call “Tattie” holds a unique place in Scottish sporting history.

The 55-year-old lawn bowler from East Lothian enjoys long walks and watching Hearts. Oh, and he’s Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games athlete of all time.

With five Commonwealth gold medals to his name, he is feared and respected on the rinks in equal measure. He has seen it all in the sport having attended six Commonwealth Games and represented Scotland on the international stage since 1987.

Marshall will join forces with Paul Marshall, with whom he won the world indoor title in 2019, in the pairs and forms part of Scotland’s formidable fours team.

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Scotland's Alex Marshall competes in his fifth Commonwealth Games looking to add to his six golds to date. (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP via Getty Images)
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