Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Flagbearer McLean Adds to Medal Haul

“I’ve felt a bit of extra pressure as flag bearer, being the person that’s aiming to lead everybody. I’ve done what I came here to do." Craig McLean

Having led Scotland into the opening ceremony on Saturday night, swimmer Craig McLean was feeling the pressure to perform in the pool and he delivered tonight with a fantastic swim for Silver in the 100m Freestyle.

“I’ve felt a bit of extra pressure as flag bearer, being the person that’s aiming to lead everybody, so to be up there winning a medal means I can go out there and just enjoy the rest of my swims. I’ve done what I came here to do. It also means a lot for me, being the flagbearer as well, that I haven’t crumbled, I’ve managed to come out here and deal with the pressure of a multi-sport Games, being surrounded by a team and travelling to the other side of the world and having to perform.”

After a strong opening 50m Craig dug deep in a tussle for Silver with Lewis Clough and just got the touch ahead of the Englishman by two hundredths of a second. The race was won by Vincent Dai of Australia and Craig enjoyed the opportunity to scope out the potential competition he could face at future Commonwealth Games when these swimmers hit the senior ranks.

“Hopefully this is a stepping stone onto greater things and I’ll see what I can do next year. After next year it will be straight onto the Gold Coast and the journey towards that. This will be an ideal stepping stone, I’m at the top of the Youths so hopefully by the time I get to Gold Coast I’ll have made that jump to senior and it’s given me a good opportunity to see who’s out there in Australia and the other side of the Commonwealth.

“It was amazing being on the podium, I’ve never felt anything like it before. Even though my flag wasn’t at the top it was still amazing to see my flag, not just Scotland’s flag but MY flag, there for me, not there for anyone else. The reason it was up there was because of me and that was really satisfying. I’d love to get a Gold and hear that national anthem, it’s my favourite song!”

Silver for Craig was quickly followed by a Bronze for Erin Robertson in the 100m Breaststroke behind Layla Black of England and Kaylene Corbett of South Africa.

“It feels absolutely brilliant,” said Erin. “It’s the one thing I wanted to do when I came here, to bring home a medal for Scotland, regardless of what colour it was and I’ve done that tonight. It means so much. Ever since I was little I wanted to represent my country and bring home a medal and that’s me done it tonight. I’ve satisfied my ten year self in representing Scotland and I’m really, really happy.”

“This is the biggest experience I’ve ever had, the first time over this side of the world; I’ve never come anywhere over here before. Samoa is amazing. It’s so hot and the people are so nice, I’ve never met anyone as friendly as the people here. The mood in the camp has been great, everyone is really excited. It really spurred me on tonight and hearing all the national anthems as well, I wanted to hear the Scottish one up there. I didn’t quite manage it tonight but it’s enough just to stand on the podium and have the Scotland flag beside me.”