EDINBURGH’s Pleasance was the stage today as Commonwealth Games Scotland announced nine more athletes today to represent Team Scotland at next year’s Games in Glasgow.
Eight shooters and one triathlete were unveiled at the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Sport and Exercise.
The strength of Scotland’s shooters is evident, with six of the eight athletes announced today having contributed to all nine shooting medals at the Delhi 2010 Games, helping shooting to finish as Scotland’s top sport at the Games and they included two Olympians from last year in the shape of Edinburgh-based Jen McIntosh and Jon Hammond. They will be hoping to defend their titles at the Barry Buddon shooting ranges near Carnoustie next year.
Hammond, based in West Virginia, said: “Some of the new rules in our sport may alter how I prepare for the Games, but the biggest rules change of starting the scores from zero for the finals has really created a lot of equality and I think gives many more people the chance of winning a medal.”
Other shooters selected include Delhi 50m gold medallist Neil Stirton, while Ian Shaw and Angus McLeod, who took silver in the full bore rifle pairs in Delhi, have also booked their places.
Alford’s Shona Marshall, who took silver in the Clay Target Trap event in Delhi has assured her place, along with Caroline Brownlie who will make her second Games appearance, in the 10m Air Pistol.
Sian Bruce is the only new face amongst the shooters announced so far. The 20-year-old from Dundee will make her Games debut in the Clay Target Skeet event.
There are still a number of shooting places on the team which will not be decided until next May. For example in the Women’s 50m Rifle Prone event there are six Scottish athletes who have all met the selection standard so far and they will have to fight it out for two places.
Shooting Team Manager Donald McIntosh said: I’m delighted to have six of our Delhi medallists selected along with Sian Bruce and Caroline Brownlie at this first stage in the process. We have seen some solid performances throughout the year as the athletes learn to deal with the substantial rule changes introduced after the London Olympic Games, and we can look forward to further progress from all of them before the Commonwealth Games begin.”
Triathlon makes a welcome return to the Commonwealth Games, and Scotland’s David McNamee has had an outstanding 2013 posting three top ten finishes in the Triathlon ITU World Championship Series and has been rewarded with early selection as a result.
Making the announcement Team Scotland Chef de Mission, Jon Doig said: “I am extremely pleased to announce a further nine athletes selected for Team Scotland for Glasgow 2014. All eight shooters have continued to demonstrate that they are on great form and increasingly competitive at international level, whilst triathlete David McNamee has also had his best season ever. “We are delighted to welcome them all to represent Team Scotland at our home Games next year and they can now go into their winter training period fully focused on reaching their peak performance next July.”
Adding her congratulations, Commonwealth Games and Sports Minister Shona Robison said: “I congratulate the nine athletes, a mix of Commonwealth Games medallists and newcomers, and wish them all the best with their preparations. Team Scotland has all the ingredients to succeed, with outstanding facilities, high standards of coaching and an extra £1 million Scottish Government funding for elite sport. Like so many others, I am looking forward to seeing our athletes competing and Team Scotland shining next year at Scotland’s biggest ever sporting event.”
Many of the athletes announced today have benefited from the support of sportscotland the national agency for sport and in particular from the high performance support and expertise provided by the sportscotland institute of sport.
Louise Martin, Chair of sportscotland, said: “Congratulations to all nine athletes who are the latest to secure their places in Team Scotland. Excitement around the Commonwealth Games continues to grow and, working with Games partners and the Scottish Governing Bodies of Sport, sportscotland is determined to capitalise on the unique opportunity to strengthen Scotland’s sporting pathways from grassroots to club to performance sport.