Christie and McLean win medals for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games

Christie and McLean win medals for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games

Louise Christie’s shock silver secured Scotland’s first rhythmic gymnastics medal at the Commonwealth Games in almost three decades.

Joanne Walker was the last to reach the podium when she won bronze in Victoria and was followed by an incredulous Christie in the ribbon event.

The 21-year-old Aberdonian – also the first Scottish woman to compete in an apparatus competition since 1994 – put on a sensational routine and held the lead down to the very last competitor when Joe Ee Ng of Malaysia snatched the gold.

“The wait felt like forever,” said Christie, who trains at Beacon Rhythmic Gymnastics in Aberdeen and was watched by a raucous cheering team from her home at Arena Birmingham.

“It just feels fantastic, it will take a long time to internalize but I have a medal around my neck.

“I was a bit disappointed with the loop the last few days because I knew I could do a lot better than in qualifying.

“I just walked out and left everything on the floor. I consciously choose an upbeat routine because I wanted to enjoy it and feed off the crowd.”

This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funds raised by players in the National Lottery, has compromises of over 250 athletes all vying for medal success.

There was also success in the bowls as Iain McLean took bronze in the men’s singles to close games at Leamington Spa.

McLean was one of the title favorites heading into the games but lost to eventual champion Aaron Wilson in the semifinals.

But the 38-year-old bounced back and claimed his first Commonwealth medal in his first games with a comfortable win over Malaysia’s Fairul Izwan Abd Muin.

It feels great,” McLean said. “It was a tough game earlier in the day to get over that and get back out.

“I’m happy to be playing well in the bronze game and bagging a medal.

“I gained a lot of confidence from my games earlier in the week.

“I had a lapse this morning, didn’t play well but put it aside, remembered the good things that happened during the week and focused on that.”

It was a stacked field in men’s singles, with defending champion Aaron Wilson taking gold again.

McLean was the bookmakers’ favorite ahead of the games but revealed he didn’t feel any extra pressure.

“It was a nice little push, it’s a shot in the arm,” McLean said. “It reflects what the bettor believes, what the supporter believes.

“It’s a tough competition and it proved that I’m just happy to get through it all.

“It was a great experience playing in front of this crowd, it’s just right for me.

“I came out and looked up and there’s a whole booth standing there carrying blue flags or waving blue flags.”

Elsewhere, James Heatly saved his best vault for the last time, but it didn’t quite make it for a medal in the men’s 3m springboard and finished fourth as England took the podium.

The 25-year-old, who was in his third game, finished with a total score of 460.40, missing bronze by just 1.9 points, while Ross Beattie finished 11th with 365.00.

“I’m actually pretty happy with the performance,” Heatly said. “The scores all went up as the laps went up and it’s been an extremely tough year so I’m happy with the comeback.

“I’m just annoyed about the placement at the finish line. Fourth, just a little bit is hard to swallow, but there are more positives than negatives. I was a bit shaky at the beginning, it’s always difficult with nerves.

“I’m definitely going to be a lot more like myself in this competition.”

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