Let the Games begin

Cyclist Katie Archibald
Cyclist Katie Archibald

Local athletes are gearing up for one of Scotland’s biggest ever sporting events - the Commonwealth Games.

Among those taking part from East Dunbartonshire are badminton player Imogen Bankier, cyclist Katie Archibald and swimmers Calum Tait, Jack Thorpe and Michael Jamieson.

Bankier (26) is a former mixed doubles silver medallist (Wembley 2011) and the most experienced of the group.

She is hoping to banish the memory of a disappointing London Olympics and is among one of the best prospects for a podium place. The Scotland squad are seeded fifth overall.

Cyclist Katie Archibald is also flying the flag for Scotland and will lead the 30-strong cycling squad at the Games.

The 20-year-old athlete was recently-crowned world team pursuit champion and will represent Scotland in track endurance, time trials and road race.

Archibald is part of the biggest ever cycling group for a Commonwealth Games and a relative newcomer to the sport having only taken up serious competitive cycling three years ago.

She started her racing career on a grass track in the Highlands, and has recently competed in the UK Women’s Tour. She will join the likes of Eileen Roe and Claire Thomas.

Team Scotland cycling chief Jon Doig said the size of the squad offered proof of cycling’s burgeoning appeal in Scotland.

He also said the sport has always had a strong tradition but had now gone from strength to strength on the back of the amazing achievements of Sir Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean.

In the pool, Michael Jamieson will be going for gold when he competes in the 200m breaststroke after clinching a silver medal in the 2012 Olympic Games.

And 19-year-olds Calum Tait and Jack Thorpe will also be doing their best to clinch some silverware for the host country.

Tait will be competing in the 200m breaststroke and Thorpe is hoping for glory in the 4x100m freestyle. Thorpe may also compete in the 50 metre freestyle.