Glasgow 2014: It's not always the winning that counts
- 30 July 2014
- From the section Scotland
Everyone loves a winner but the crowds at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow appear to be just as keen on those who lose in style.
Across all the venues there have been competitors who have won the support and affection of the crowds by showing great determination and spirit.
Here are five fantastic examples:
Ann Wacuka (Kenya) para-sport - swimming
She may not have taken gold in the 100m freestyle S8 race during Friday's packed swimming schedule but she did win over the hearts of the nation as she demonstrated an incredible level of physical and mental strength.
The double amputee had the support of the home nation behind her as she finished the race almost a minute behind winner Madison Elliot of Australia.
The S8 class in which Wacuka was racing contains athletes who have lost either both hands or one arm, or athletes with severe restrictions in the joints of the lower limbs.
Wacuka, the only competitor to have lost both her lower limbs, appeared not to be fazed by the level of strength needed to finish a distance that appeared less of a feat for other S8 swimmers.
Her sheer determination inspired the crowd, who awarded her with the most raucous and deafening cheer of the evening.
Tongia Vakaafi (Tonga) Marathon
Crowds took to the streets of Glasgow in preparation for the first athletics event of the Games, the men's marathon.
An unlikely entry came in the form of Tonga's Tongia Vakaafi, a 38-year-old who came in to the event originally with the hope of providing money to support his family.
Despite Vakaafi's obvious lack of quality among a strong field of runners, including winner Michael Shelley of Australia, he showed a determination which humbled and inspired the surrounding crowds.
He finished almost an hour behind Shelley's winning time of two hours 11 minutes, but kept going until the very end and was rewarded with a procession of encouragement from spectators.
Rosefelo Siosi (Solomon Isles) - 5,000m
As the crowds gathered to witness a race that no longer promised the nation's favourite Mo Farah, disappointment was soon wiped away when the stadium discovered a new favourite in the form of Solomon Islands Rosefelo Siosi.
The 17-year-old two-time Solomon's sportsman of the year finished the 5,000m race two and a half laps behind Kenyan winner Caleb Mwangangi Ndiku, in a time of 16min 55.33.
For the closing laps of the 5,000m race, despite running solo, Siosi was greeted by an ear-splitting roar of crowd support as he turned into the home straight almost three and a half minutes after Ndiku had finished.
Ntholeng Lechesa (Lesotho) - Squash
All eyes were on 17-year-old squash player Ntholeng Lechesa as he commenced his first-round match in the men's singles on the opening day of the Games.
Lechesa, who had never played on a glass-backed court before Glasgow, struggled to keep up with Jamaica's Chris Binne, who raced to victory over him in three straight games.
His lack of experience and resulting struggles won Lechesa the sympathy of the crowd.
With nothing to lose as the final game drew to a close, Lechesa, spurred on by the encouragement of the host nation, won a single point in the final stages, earning himself an explosion of cheers from a hooked Scottish crowd.
Despite suffering a heavy defeat, Lechesa was happy to have won even that one point and to have played his first match in front of a large crowd - not to mention such a supportive one.
Uganda - Rugby sevens team
Up against a pool of superior rugby teams, Uganda began their Commonwealth journey with the odds stacked against them.
Having suffered a heavy defeat by Australia and England in the same pool preliminary matches four years ago in Delhi, they instantly won the support of the Scottish crowds, who took it upon themselves to adopt the East African team for the duration of the two-day tournament.
Despite losing two of their preliminary matches, Uganda became the most loved and supported team throughout a weekend of exciting world-class rugby.
After losing their first match to Australia 43-5 and later going down to England 40-0, Uganda found their form in the evening match against Sri Lanka - much to the crowd's delight.
The stadium erupted as Uganda scored two tries as they came back to beat Sri Lanka 17-14. They were greeted with a standing ovation by the crowd, who had developed a special bond with the African team.