Lynsey Sharp has revealed she was seriously ill in hospital overnight – before a stunning performance saw her claim a thrilling silver medal in the 800m Commonwealth Games final at Hampden.
The 24-year-old European champion nearly didn’t run at all after being up all night on Thursday being sick and with a drip in her arm.
But roared on by the home crowd, she produced an incredible last 100m to claim second place on the line, and finish behind Kenya’s Eunice Jepkoech Sum.
Sharp had been rushed to a hospital clinic in the athletes’ village suffering from dehydration after a severe sickness bout.
Speaking after her race, she said: “I didn’t get to sleep till 5.30am and just remember being sick outside my room with my head on my knees and Stephen Maguire [the Scottish head coach) and four police officers in the corridor.”
“If you’d said then that I’d get some form of medal I’d have laughed – I just wanted to find enough energy to go out and perform for two minutes and that would be it.”
She added: “All I had to eat today was some porridge and scrambled eggs and I only had a few hours’ sleep from 5.30am and an hour before lunch.”
“I’d been at the training track and just got back to the village when I threw up.
“I was wearing these compression socks and couldn’t even find the strength to take them off.”
Sharp, who has been dogged by injury this year, only reached the final as a fastest loser.
The Capital athlete, who had “get out strong commit” written on her hand, looked to be in danger of missing out on a podium finish as late as the final bend.
But in a show of strength, she overtook four rivals, including England’s Jessica Judd and Ugandan Winnie Nanyondo on the home straight, finishing in a time of 2:01.34.
Sharp said: “This is my everything. The last year has been obstacle after obstacle, even right up to being in hospital in the athletes’ village.
“But there was no way after going through everything I have been through that I was not going to get a medal.
“I know how low the low points can be. Yesterday I almost lost it and today I had to come out and get it right.
“People were saying ‘this is your time’. I did believe that but there was still some doubt and after everything I have been through how I can be in this shape is a miracle.”
She did not receive her European gold medal from 2013 until January of this year, following Yelena Arzhakova’s doping ban.
Sharp was the fifth home medallist of the night at Hampden, where Steve Lewis eked past Luke Cutts in an all-English jump-off to secure pole vault gold.
The home nations continued their success at the Games yesterday as Scotland got the better of England in a lawn bowls showdown.
Pairs champions Alex Marshall and Paul Foster teamed up with David Peacock and Neil Speirs in the men’s fours final at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove, where they triumphed 16-8 to clinch gold for the hosts.
Scottish gymnast Dan Purvis also won gold yesterday, claiming victory in the men’s parallel bars. The 23-year-old, who had already won team silver and rings bronze, upgraded to gold on the final day of competition after being the last gymnast to perform on the apparatus.
Lothian athletes have so far clinched nine gold medals, with winners including swimmer Dan Wallace in the men’s 400m individual medley, Craig Maclean [with Neil Fachie] in the men’s tandem cycling time trial and Sarah Clark in judo.
And while she didn’t get a medal, 18-year-old diver Grace Reid thrilled the crowd at the Commonwealth Pool with a great performance that saw her in silver medal position entering the final round. In the end she finished with 269.40 as Canada’s Jennifer Abel (287.25) won.
Josh Taylor tipped for golden triumph in ring
Prestonpans boxing star Josh Taylor has an “excellent chance” of winning gold in the Commonwealth Games boxing final this afternoon.
The southpaw – guaranteed at least silver – made it through to the final in the light-welterweight class after a convincing semi-final victory against English counterpart and GB team-mate Sam Maxwell.
Terry McCormack, head coach at Lochend, said: “He has an excellent chance of winning. He has not just been winning but winning in style.”
Taylor will face Namibia’s Junias Jonas in today’s 64kg light welterweight final at the SSE Hydro.
The 23-year-old has caught the eye of radio pundits including boxing legend Barry McGuigan, and won silver in the 60kg weight category four years ago in Delhi as a teenager.
The contest is scheduled to get under way at 4.45pm today, with 10,000 spectators expected to cheer him on.