Four golds lead as Scotland set medal record

Hosts: birmingham Appointment: July 28 to August 8
Cover: Watch live on BBC TV with additional streams on BBC iPlayer, Red Button, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport mobile app; Listen on BBC Radio 5 Live and Sports Extra; live text and online clips.

Birmingham 2022 will be Scotland’s most successful Commonwealth Games outside Glasgow 2014 after eight medals, including four gold, won on Sunday in boxing, athletics and cycling.

Boxers Sam Hickey, Sean Lazzerini, Reese Lynch and then 1500m runner Laura Muir all won gold to take Scotland’s total to 12, three more than on the Gold Coast in 2018.

Eilish McColgan added 5,000m silver to her 10,000m gold, after Neah Evans won silver and Finn Crockett bronze in their respective road races.

Then Scotland clinched an unlikely bronze in the women’s 4x400m relay after England were disqualified to take the total to 49 medals – 12 gold, 11 silver and 26 bronze – with one day remaining competition.

Scotland have now surpassed the 44 won at Gold Coast four years ago, which was the best performance outside Glasgow 2014, where the team won 53, including 19 gold medals.

It was good that Kirsty Gilmour missed out on a badminton medal after losing her bronze medal match to Singapore’s Jia Min Yeo, and that mixed doubles duo Adam Hall and Julie MacPherson also lost to Malaysia in their match for third place.

However, squash duo Greg Lobban and Rory Stewart will play their bronze medal match on Monday.

The boxing gold rush

Scotland have won a boxing medal at every Commonwealth Games, but the last gold medals were in 2014 when Josh Taylor and Charlie Flynn emerged victorious.

In Birmingham, five of the eight fighters will walk away with medals, including three gold – a record for Scotland.

Hickey, the 22-year-old middleweight from Dundee, started it all with a blockbuster loss to 19-year-old Australian Callum Peters.

The pair exchanged brutal jabs and both landed shots in the final round before all three of five judges gave Hickey the win. The fighters shared a hug of mutual respect after a thrilling fight.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Hickey told BBC Scotland. “I’ve always believed in myself, but stepping into the ring is easier said than done. I’m proud of myself. Proud to be Scottish. And proud to be from Dundee.”

Not to be outdone, Barrhead’s light heavyweight Lazzerini brilliantly beat Taylor Bevan of Wales, landing a flurry of blows in the final round to ensure he too would claim gold.

The 25-year-old then celebrated Cristiano Ronaldo’s trademark in the ring and then led the crowd through Flower of Scotland as he stood atop the podium.

“Great, but it’s just the start,” Lazzerini said. “Maybe even tomorrow I will train again. What’s there to celebrate? There will be no end, I have to keep improving.

“It’s been a long road and a lot of people have given up on me. But I never gave up on myself and my family and friends never gave up on me and that’s why I got the gold.”

Finally, it was the turn of Lynch, light welterweight. The 21-year-old from Fauldhouse had to wait for his chance to make history alongside his teammates, and he finally produced under pressure.

After a good first round from the Scot and an even second, Louis Richarno Colin of Maurice finished strong to open a cut above Lynch’s eye in round three, before finishing with a big right hand that made steal his mouth guard.

But it was Lynch who raised his hand in victory amid boos from the crowd, after four of the five judges scored the fight in his favor.

“It’s not even sunk yet. I’m buzzing,” he said. “It was a good fight, he was a good boy, very experienced. I thought I won the first and the second [rounds] and the third one, I knew I was winning, so I took it a little easier.

“Obviously I got caught, but my mouth guard came out which made it even worse than it was. I’m happy with my performance.”

Evans makes history

The cyclist Evans was phenomenally consistent throughout the Games, finishing with a personal collection of three medals and a fourth place on track and road.

She won track silver in the points race and bronze in the individual pursuit at the velodrome last week, and also just missed out on a medal in the scratch race.

The 31-year-old former vet was less well liked on the road but worked with teammate Anna Shackley to finish second in a frantic sprint behind Australia’s Georgia Baker.

It capped off a fantastic fortnight for Evans, who was one of the stars of the Scottish Games.

“It’s going to take a while to sink in, especially because it was in two disciplines,” she said.

“I hadn’t raced on the road in three years so I didn’t expect to win a medal. When it came to the sprint… I don’t even know how far you’re supposed to go so I didn’t not realize until I crossed the line and then I was like ‘oh, that’s right’.”

In the men’s race, former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas attacked with two kilometers to go, but Crockett was among a group of riders who passed and sprinted for the line, eventually finishing third.

“For a nation like Scotland to get a medal in the road race, with the talent that’s here…I honestly can’t believe it,” Crockett said. “Getting a medal is honestly unreal.”

Four golds lead as Scotland set medal record

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