Local stars hope to sparkle in Gold Coast Games

Beth Potter is poised to make Scottish Commonwealth Games history
Beth Potter is poised to make Scottish Commonwealth Games history

The waiting is finally over and the action is under way at last in the 21st Commonwealth Games on Australia’s Gold Coast.

A host of athletes with Milngavie and Bearsden connections are hoping to shine across a variety of sports.

And with Australia being nine hours ahead, some of them will have already started their bid for glory overnight our time.

As usual much of the early action is focussed on the swimming pool with former Balfron High School pupil Ross Murdoch looking to defend the 200 metres breasstroke title he won so dramatically against Michael Jamieson in Glasgow four years ago.

The final is due to take place at lunchtime on Thursday with Milngavie’s Calum Tait - fifth four years ago - also hoping to be involved.

Both swimmers will also compete in the 100m later in the week with Murdoch also down for the 50m and 4x100m medley relay.

First up for Tait’s fellow former Milngavie & Bearsden ASC member Jack Thorpe on Friday is the 4x100m freestyle relay.

Thorpe is also swimming individually in the 100m and 50m freestyle, as well as the 4x200m freestyle and medley relay.

In the boxing ring former Bearsden Academy pupil Nathaniel Collins was due to start his bid for 60kg glory overnight.

And what is likely to be a hectic Games for brother and sister Katie and John Archibald begins tomorrow with both due to ride their respective individual pursuits.

Katie won points race bronze at Glasgow 2014 but has since amassed a glittering collection of Olympic, World and European medals and is one of Team Scotland’s main hopes for glory in Australia.

She is also likely to ride the points race and track race in the velodrome before switching to the road next week for the time trial and road race.

Similarly brother John also anticipates a hectic schedule with participation in the scratch and points races followed by double tilt at glory in the road events.

Bearsden’s Beth Potter is set to make history by becoming the first Scot to compete in two different sports at the same Commonwealth Games.

The former Milngavie & Bearsden ASC swimmer was due to take part in the triathlon in the early hours of Thursday morning UK time, before switching to the athletics track for Monday’s 10,000 metres.

Western Wildcats hockey trio Rob Harwood, Kaz Cuthbert and Becky Ward are also due in action today (Thursday).

The men’s squad, including Rob, play South Africa in their first group game at lunchtime with further group games over the coming days against Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The women’s squad also have a tough draw with their opener against New Zealand in the early hours of Thursday followed by games with Canada, Ghana and hosts Australia.

Kaz, who will captain the Scottish team, said: “We are being realistic - to finish in the top four would really be surpassing all our expectations but it’s obviously what we’re all aiming for. You don’t go to the Commonwealth Games and not try to push it to get into the medals.”