With one week of competition left at the Toyko 2020 Olympic Games Scottish athletes have already bagged a sensational six medals with dreams of more still to come.
Swimmer Duncan Scott, who has written himself into the history books by becoming the first ever British athlete to win four medals at a single Olympic Games, got the Scots off to a flying start with silver in the 200m freestyle event. He narrowly lost out to Tom Dean as Team GB took gold and silver for the first time since back in 1908.
Rowers Angus Groom and Harry Leask added a silver in the quadruple sculls, finishing just behind the Netherlands in a pulsating race. The Scots were joined on the podium for the medal ceremony by crew mates Tom Barras and Jack Beaumont.
Duncan Scott added his second with a brilliant gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay along with Tom Dean, James Guy and Matt Richards. It was a sign of things to come for Glasgow-born Scott who quickly added another silver – this time in the 200m individual medley – as he underlined his position as one of the all-time greats.
Fellow University of Stirling swimmer Kathleen Dawson was next to get in on the act with a glorious gold in the 4x100 mixed medley relay. The 23-year-old, originally from Kirkcaldy, swam an incredible first leg for Team GB, before Adam Peaty, James Guy and Anna Hopkin brought home the gold in a world-record time of 3:37.58.
Duncan Scott added his historic fourth medal of the Games – silver in the 4x100m medley relay – rightfully earning him worldwide praise. He was joined on the team by Adam Peaty, James Guy and Luke Greenback, who finished narrowly behind Team USA.
On entering the history books a very modest Scott said: “It's a lot of good teammates, that's what that is. I am very fortunate to be part of some excellent relay teams, this being one of them."
After his silver medal rower Groom, 28, from Glasgow, said: “We just backed each other. We said that we wanted to push off and trust each other, trust everyone to do their jobs and we wanted to throw everything at it. It was a perfect race for me to be honest.”
After her gold medal swimmer Dawson added: “I wasn’t going to let them bully me, I was going to swim my own race and it didn’t matter if it was two guys or two girls I was up against.”
It has been a remarkable start to the Games as Chief Executive of sportscotland, Stewart Harris, says: “The performances of the Scots on Team GB so far have been nothing short of sensational. Six medals have already been delivered, Duncan Scott has confirmed himself as one of Team GB’s greatest ever Olympians and Kathleen Dawson has played her part in setting a new world record. Each and every one of them deserve all the praise they are receiving.
“But this success did not happen overnight. It is down to years of hard work and commitment from the athletes, their coaches and their wider support teams including Scottish Governing Bodies of sport and the sportscotland institute of sport."
"It also wouldn’t have been possible with the support of the National Lottery and in particular National Lottery players, who help raise £36million each week to help good causes.
“It is a real team effort. Together they have helped achieve something special and helped make the entire nation proud.”
Looking ahead to the final seven days of competition, Director of High Performance at sportscotland, Mike Whittingham, said: “The Scots on Team GB have really stepped up in Tokyo and the good news is, there is more to come, especially from our home-grown talent.
“There are medal prospects in sailing, athletics and equestrian from athletes like Anna Burnet, Laura Muir and Scott Brash, and we’ve already caught a glimpse of what great shape Katie Archibald is in. And how fantastic would it be to see Calum Hawkins rounding off the Games with a result in the marathon on Sunday?
“These athletes are showing real belief and ambition and that’s a result of the fantastic support system they have behind them.
"They are setting a fantastic example of what hard work and discipline can achieve, and the country should be very proud of them.”