Broxburn’s Emily Ritchie from West Lothian admitted it was an “amazing feeling” to win the first gold medal for Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
The 16-year-old has made quite an impact in Scottish judo circles in recent months – and on this evidence it is easy to see why.
Judo, which had never been in the Games before, began on day one in Nassau and Ritchie went undefeated in the girls’ +70kg class to claim gold. Speaking after her final fight, she said: “That was amazing. The fact that it is the first Youth Games with my sport in it and that I am one of the first gold medallists in the event is an amazing feeling. It felt great stepping out on to the mat, representing the whole of Team Scotland. Now I cannot wait to be able to watch all of my team-mates competing.”
Ritchie took up judo as a youngster because her mother was keen for her to learn self defence – and little did she know at the time that it would spark a love affair with the sport.
Soon after Ritchie’s medal win, Scotland added two judo silvers (Fiona Todman and Emma Forrest) and one bronze (Louis Saez).