Sport Other Sports Scots flourish at home Games

Scots flourish at home Games

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The flower of Scotland may be wilting in the heat but its athletes are flourishing.

Two days into their home Commonwealth Games, the Scots have already won more than twice as many gold medals in Glasgow as they did for the entire Edinburgh Games in 1986.

Basking in a rare Glasgow heatwave with temperatures in the mid to high 20s, Scotland claimed another three gold on Friday, to sit third on the medals table with seven gold in a total of 14.

Daniel Wallace claimed the 400m individual medley in the pool, Sarah Clarke won Scotland’s third judo gold and cyclists Neil Fachie and Craig Maclean won the tandem visually-impaired time trial and then wandered into the stands for a laugh with comedian Billy Connolly.

The home support at the Tollcross pool was also a massive boost for reformed party boy Wallace as he hauled in Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes in the last lap.

After touching the wall to seal the win, the 21-year-old could be seen bellowing “Freedom”, just as his namesake William Wallace does in the film Braveheart.

“I have never felt anything like this (crowd support). I wasn’t going to waste this opportunity,” Wallace said.

Scotland has never finished in the top four of the medals table and is only two gold away from matching its performance four years ago in Delhi.

Their neighbours from Wales, however, are reeling after team co-captain Rhys Williams was the first athlete expelled from the Games for failing a drugs test.

Williams, the European 400m hurdles champion, has been provisionally suspended over an alleged anti-doping violation from a test taken at the pre-Games Grand Prix meeting in Glasgow on July 11.

Welsh 800m runner Gareth Warburton was forced out of the Games last week after failing a similar test.

Both deny knowingly taking banned substances and it is believed the test results could be linked to the same supplements taken by the pair.

“I am utterly devastated about the news of this anti-doping rule violation, which has come as a great shock to me,” Williams said on Friday.

It’s been a bad Games for the Welsh, whose Olympic silver medallist boxer Fred Evans was denied accreditation to compete after failing a background check following his involvement in a nightclub assault in April.

And their world No.1 flyweight Andrew Selby was controversially beaten in the opening round by Scotland’s Reece McFadden on Friday after being docked a point because his mouthguard kept falling out in the bout’s dying stages.

England kept its spot at the top of the table after six golds for the day took its tally to 12, one ahead of Australia which also won half a dozen gold on Friday, including four in the pool.

But the two countries are locked on 32 medals overall.

New Zealander Sam Webster made track cycling history at the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome when he broke Australia’s 44-year domination of the men’s sprint.

England’s Olympic champion Jason Kenny had actually put an end to Australia’s run when he knocked Peter Lewis out in the semis, but Webster was then too powerful for the Englishman in the final, becoming the first New Zealander to win the sprint title in Games history.

Also at the velodrome, a Malaysian cyclist has been reprimanded for wearing gloves with “Save Gaza” written on them.

Azizulhasni Awang said he was expressing a “humanitarian” message, not making a political protest, but has been warned not to do it again.

New Zealand’s women’s hockey players had a 14-0 romp over Trinidad and Tobago, but their netballers received a massive scare from Malawi before sneaking home 50-47.