Wells believes future is bright for Team Scotland

SCOTS Olympic legend Allan Wells has said the nation’s athltes should be “pretty happy” with a return of four track and field medals from the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Scotland's Eilidh Child wins Silver in the Women's 800m Hurdles. Picture: TSPL
Scotland's Eilidh Child wins Silver in the Women's 800m Hurdles. Picture: TSPL

Wells, the 1980 Olympic 100 metres champion and six times a Commonwealth medallist, was a Glasgow 2014 Ambassador.

He said: “What Scotland’s athletes did at Hampden was reasonable. We have to be pretty happy with four medals.

“It is a young team. Many of them are still learning about themselves and about the big moments in sport. I was 26 when I went to the Commonwealth Games for the first time so there’s the majority of this team under that age.

Mark Dry receives his Bronze Medal after coming third in the Hammer Throw. Picture: TSPL

“Let’s see if they can step up a wee bit over the next few years. Can they use Glasgow 2014 as the platform?

“Everybody has to be so professional – I mean the governing body, the athletes, the coaches. The attitude must be 100 per cent and the motivation has to be right. That can come from coaches as well as the athletes themselves. It is so important.”

The track and field performance was the best by a Scottish team since the 1986 Edinburgh Games, which were boycotted by many countries.

The tally of four medals earned by sprinter Libby Clegg (gold), 400m hurdler Eilidh Child, 800m runner Lynsey Sharp (both silver) and hammer thrower Mark Dry (bronze) was the best since a haul of five in Auckland in 1990.

But a “points table” for top-eight finishes in finals, widely regarded as the best barometer for athletics at the Commonwealth Games, showed Scotland finished in eighth place with 73 points.

That was the best figure since the tally of 107 from Edinburgh 1986 when the absence of a number of nations made final places and top-eight finishes easier to achieve.

Scotland’s overall performance also won endorsement from Nigel Holl, chief executive of governing body scottishathletics, who believes the future is bright with many of the Glasgow 2014 squad under the age of 23.

England were the top nation in track, field and marathon with Australia in second place and Kenya in third.

No fewer than 22 athletes contributed to Scotland’s points tally – 18 individuals and the men’s 4 x 400m team, who finished fifth in last Saturday’s final.

New Zealand (on population) and Wales are often seen as comparable nations to Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and the eighth place at Glasgow 2014 place comfortably eclipsed those two countries

Holl said: “We had an agreed and stated medal target of ‘more than two’ and that was achieved with four medals in athletics which is a source of satisfaction but not complacency.

“Over the next few weeks we will of course undertake detailed review and analysis of performance. That review will capture the essential lessons and learning from selection policy, the build-up to the Games and the actual performances.

“I am left satisfied by the medal haul and the points tally is good in the context of top-eight finishes. Medals in athletics were hard won in Glasgow, I don’t think there is any doubt about that.

“The most encouraging aspect for us at scottishathletics is that 30 of the team were aged 23 or under – really quite young in terms of competing at major competitions.”