Commonwealth Games: Scotland chief targets record medal haul

Team Scotland's chef de mission Jon Doig hopes the home team can set a new Scottish medals record when Glasgow hosts the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"Our first target is to have our most successful Games team ever. That was 33 medals in Edinburgh, the last time we hosted a Games," he told BBC Scotland.

"We'd also like to get more than 11 gold medals."

In Melbourne in 2006, the Scots won six swimming golds, two in shooting plus boxing, track cycling and bowls golds.

That remains the most gold medals Scotland have won since competing in every British Empire Games and Commonwealth Games since they began in 1930.

The 11 gold medals, plus seven silver and 11 bronze gave the Scots a total of 29 in Australia.

At the Edinburgh Games only three of Scotland's 33 medals were gold, with athletes winning 12 silver and 18 bronze.

"I think we'll have a good spread of medals," Doig told BBC Radio Scotland's Sport Nation programme.

"We have very good prospects across most of them, certain people coming on board.

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Home games are great - you get a lot of fantastic support - but there's a lot of pressure coming on as well

Jon Doig Team Scotland chef de mission

"We always have some people come through in the next six months that you don't really expect, or they just really respond to the competition environment.

"The bowlers have got a point to prove. The last Games, I think, were the first Games that they came back from without a medal."

Doig praised the progress made by Glaswegian track cyclist Katie Archibald, who has joined the British Cycling set-up and who is aiming for a medal in the 3,000m individual pursuit.

However, he warned that she faces stiff competition to finish on the podium.

"There are some world-class performers in the Commonwealth in cycling, particularly women's cycling, from throughout the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand," said Doig, also chief executive of Commonwealth Games Scotland.

"She has done fantastically well to get to where she is at the moment. There's a big step to push through to the next level to win medals at these major championships.

"But there are some old hands there in the cycling. Craig MacLean is there with Neil Fachie, looking to be selected in the para-cycling events.

"Also, judo is back in the Games for the first time since 2002. They really delivered for us in Manchester.

Scottish track cyclist Kate Archibald

"We are looking for these sports to come through and hopefully deliver again in the future."

Doig was critical of the conditions for athletes at the Delhi Games four years ago.

He acknowledges that the home athletes are unlikely to be affected by problems with travel or food in Glasgow, but insists they face other concerns.

He said: "The preparation that has gone on over the last six-and-a-half years since we got the Games has been focused on taking the excuses away and what we've seen is the athletes responding to the support systems that have been put in place around them.

"There are other pressures there. Home games are great - you get a lot of fantastic support - but there's a lot of pressure coming on as well.

"Part of what we're doing with the Institute of Sport is helping the staff and athletes understand what those pressures are going to be."

New Zealander Doig will soon meet with the chefs de mission from the 69 other nations and territories competing in Glasgow and, the month before the Games begin on 23 July, will organise a team camp for athletes and their families.

He says he is humbled at the thought of Scots being inspired by the Glasgow Games in the same way that people have intimated to him about the effect of the Edinburgh Games in 1970 and 1986.

Having worked for Commonwealth Games Scotland for almost 12 years, he "can't wait" for the opening ceremony at Celtic Park.

"I've got the hairs going up on the back of my neck just thinking about when Scotland is announced to come into the stadium, the roar of the crowd," he said.

"To be able to walk behind all the athletes and look around and think, 'we've brought the Game to Scotland, it's now up to the athletes to perform'."