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Golden day as athletes equal medals record

SCOTLAND is glowing after setting sporting history with a new record for the number of golds won in a Commonwealth Games.

GOLDEN DAY: Scotland picked up another pile of gold medals.
GOLDEN DAY: Scotland picked up another pile of gold medals.

The host team overtook the gold medal tally from Melbourne in 2006 after Alex Marshall and Paul Foster took Scotland's 12th gold in the lawn bowls pairs contest.

The duo thrashed Malaysia 20-3 in just an hour-and-a-half at Kelvingrove.

Skip Marshall, a record 19-time world champion, celebrated with a passionate fist-clenched gesture to the crowd and said: "This is just fantastic. I have won two golds before but this one tops the lot. Playing in your own back yard, in front of your own fans - you just can't beat it.

"It's definitely one of the highlights of my career. That is our 12th gold medal of the games for Team Scotland, so that is another record broken, which is fantastic."

Later Libby Clegg was the hot favourite to take Scotland's first athletics victory in the T12 100m and screamed on by the saltire waving partisan crowd, she stormed to victory to provide the country's 13th gold.

The visually-impaired 22-year-old and guide Mikail Huggins, who together won silver at London 2012, crossed the line in 12.20 seconds to emphatically claim the title.

She said: "It is a bit daunting when everyone wants you to win, but I didn't feel the pressure too much. The crowd and atmosphere have been brilliant and to win gold is amazing. "

Elsewhere, defending champion Jen McIntosh had to settle for bronze in the 50m rifle prone, having led at the halfway stage.

But that still meant the Commonwealth Games hosts had equalled their best-ever medal haul of 33 - with six days still to go.

Scotland's previous record medal tally came at the Edinburgh games in 1986, which was boycotted by 32 African, Asian and Caribbean nations.

Melbourne 2006 held the previous record with 11 Scottish golds, while the country picked up a further nine at Delhi 2010.

Commonwealth Games Minister Shona Robison said: "What a fantastic day for Team Scotland. With just under a week of competition left, Scotland has won its highest ever number of gold medals, thanks to an outstanding performance by Alex Marshall and Paul Foster in the lawn bowl pairs final. I'm thrilled with this new record.

"Five days in, Glasgow 2014 has produced some inspirational sporting moments, including exceptional performances in the pool from Hannah Miley, Ross Murdoch and an unforgettable performance from Erraid Davies, Team Scotland's youngest ever athlete.

"Team Scotland's performance in judo has also been outstanding, resulting in its most successful Commonwealth Games ever with a total of 13 medals.

"I'm proud of all our athletes, their hard work and dedication is an inspiration to us all. The support from the crowd has also been fantastic not only for our own sporting heroes but to all those competing."

Mike Whittingham, director of high performance at the sportscotland institute of sport, praised the milestone gold from the bowls' pair.

"Alex and Paul have dominated world bowls over the last few years and to add another Commonwealth title to their collection, especially one as historic as this, is extremely fitting," he said.

"I'm really looking forward to seeing the rest of the Team Scotland athletes competing, and I'm sure they will be going all out to try to add to the already impressive medal tally."

For Paul Foster, a former world champion bowler, who won a Commonwealth pairs gold in Melbourne eight years ago, the gold was especially sweet.

Fossie was concerned his chances of landing a second had been sabotaged just a fortnight before the game when his prize bowls were stolen.

But they were soon returned to the 41-year-old taxi proprietor, ranked number one in the world, and he said: "I didn't think anything would beat 2006 but to win a gold on home soil is a feeling that will live with me forever."

The medal tally has come while there are fewer medals on offer than at Delhi four years ago.

Some 828 medals were handed out in India while in Glasgow there are 261 events, with 783 medals on offer across 17 sports.

But there has never been more para sports events in any Commonwealth Games. At Glasgow 2014 there are 22 medal winning para sports events in five sports - seven more than in Delhi four years ago.

At the Tollcross Swimming Centre where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge watched, Scots swimming hero Ross Murdoch, and Mark Tully finished sixth and fourth respectively in the final of the 50m breaststroke.

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