Scotland's Commonwealth Games organisers believe the schedule is set up well for the home team to get off to a flying start in their pursuit of medals - and prize money.

After announcing that the team had the prospect of sharing in a £300,000 bounty, with gold medallists earning up to £10,000 to aid them post-retirement, Jon Doig, the team's chef de mission and Michael Cavanagh, the chairman of the Commonwealth Games Scotland, spoke confidently about tomorrow's opening overtures. "The first day is always important and in cycling, judo and swimming in particular we have strong chances," said Doig. "We're confident, given the way the programme has fallen, we will have good medal chances on the first three or four days."

Doig said he was unwilling to pin gold medals on any team members in advance, a sentiment Cavanagh echoed, but the chairman went slightly further in talking specifically about prospects in the pool. "While Michael Jamieson is a fantastic swimmer and we know from London that he thrives on a big stage, he's got a big job to do [in the 200 metres breaststroke]," he said. "Ross Murdoch, his team-mate, will push him very hard.

Loading article content

"We are in for a fantastic race [but] our expectation is that, at the end of the night, Scotland will have gold on the medal board - absolutely. Form right now and home advantage points to success. Michael is a really strong prospect, but even his own team-mate is pushing him hard."

The observation raised the possibility of swimming having a moment to match the iconic image at the 1970 Games when Ian Stewart was followed over the line by Ian McCafferty as Scotland won gold and silver in the 5000 metres, but Cavanagh noted that the pair could not expect to have it all their own way.

However, there is no question of who is carrying the greatest expectation to set the tone. "Michael is always confident, he knows what shape he's in, he's talking confidently," said Cavanagh. "Of all the athletes in the team, if you're looking for someone to step up when the pressure on, Michael is your man." As well as gold medallists collecting up to £10,000, silver medallists will win up to £5000 and athletes picking up bronzes will receive up to £2500 with a maximum of £75,000 per sport.

Doig, meanwhile, defended setting a medal target based on the Scottish record of 33 won at Edinburgh in 1986 when far fewer events took place on the basis that more countries are taking part this time and the sports are now more competitive.