Sammi thrilled with selection for Commonwealth Games

Sammi Kinghorn
Sammi Kinghorn

Twenty-five stars of track and field received the perfect start to their festive season, with news of their selection for Team Scotland and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

And among them is local hero Sammi Kinghorn, from Gordon.

The hugely poppular para athlete will fly the flag for the area next year in Australia.

Having broken her own world record to take gold over 200m at the World Para-Athletics Championships in London, going on to take a second gold in the 100m and bronze in the 400m, Sammi will be stepping up in distance to tackle the 1500m and marathon in Gold Coast.

At just 21 years old, she is the senior member of a strong Scottish trio in the para-sport events, joined by 17-year-old Rio 2016 Paralympic medallist Maria Lyle and 18-year-old Amy Carr, who won two gold and a bronze at this summer’s World Junior Championships.

Afer her selection was confirmed, Sammi tweeted: “I’m so pleased to say I’ll be competing at my second Commonwealth Games, in a slightly sunnier climate. I can’t wait to pull on the Scotland shirt once again and represent Team Scotland.”

Rodger Harkins, performance director at scottishathetics said: “Congratulations to the athletes and coaches selected. They have really performed well in the past year and made a commitment to the Commonwealth Games and to a Gold Coast event being held in April.

“I’m really pleased with the application and planning that’s already being shown and has been shown over the past few months.

“When you take in the way Scottish athletes and coaches have stepped up over the past two years – and their involvement in the Olympics in Rio and then London 2017 – then we see the strength and the depth. Here we are seeing that reflected in a Team Scotland selection for athletics.

“What we have with this selection is a team with a very high percentage of final contenders. The overall selection policy for Team Scotland was predicated on a top six finish in each event and taken over the last three Commonwealth Games events – including Glasgow 2014. So, immediately, that raised the bar in terms of standards from Hampden, because the selection for Glasgow 2014 was based on a potential top eight finish.”

Nineteen of the athletes named were part of the team that rose to the challenge of a home Games at Glasgow 2014 and, spurred on by a capacity crowd at Hampden, delivered their best Commonwealth Games medal haul for 20 years.

Since that tally of one gold, two silver and one bronze, the sport has gone from strength to strength, with a record 15 athletes selected for the Olympic Games and six for the Paralympic Games at Rio 2016.

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Again at this summer’s home world championships in London there were 16 Scots on the British team, captained by the inspirational Eilidh Doyle, who will compete for a third successive Commonwealth Games medal over the 400m hurdles in Gold Coast.

Doyle’s fellow Glasgow 2014 medallists, 800m runner Lynsey Sharp and hammer thrower Mark Dry, are also named and aiming to replicate their podium finishes Down Under.

Glasgow 2014 finalists Chris Bennett and Rachel Hunter will join Dry in taking to the hammer circle, where Bennett will draw on his experience from Rio 2016 and the 2017 World Championships.

One of the leading Scottish performances in that world championships team came from Callum Hawkins, whose fourth place in the marathon equalled the best ever British performance in the event.