Commonwealth Games: Rhythmic gymnast Louise Christie claims silver for Scotland

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Hosts: Birmingham Dates: 28 July to 8 August
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Rhythmic gymnast Louise Christie has claimed Scotland’s 36th medal of Birmingham 2022 by earning silver in the women’s ribbon final.

The 21-year-old Aberdonian – the first Scottish women to compete in an apparatus event since 1994 – executed a sensational routine to hold the lead until the very last, when Joe Ee Ng of Malaysia snatched gold away.

And Scotland will win at least one more silver medal on Sunday after boxer Sam Hickey earn a place in the gold-medal match in the middleweight division.

Scotland have now claimed 36 medals – eight gold, nine silver, and 19 bronze.

That leaves them just eight shy of the total from Gold Coast four years ago, which was the highest return apart from Glasgow 2014 – with at least five boxing bronze medals already guaranteed at Birmingham 2022.

The word was that Christie’s routine was going to be “a belter” and she didn’t disappoint. It was part Scottish trad music, part Insomnia, part Sister Bliss but 100% magnificent.

And for a long time, it looked like it might just be enough to give Scotland an ninth gold of these Games and match the mark set in Australia last time round.

Christie soared to the top of the standing with four rivals left to perform. One failed to match her. Then a second faltered. A medal was hers. When a third came up short, too, a scarcely-believable silver was around her neck.

Could 16-year-old Ng deny her gold? The Malaysian’s routine was high-tariff, which was reflected by how long the judges took to deliberate over her score. Years seemed to pass as everyone in the hushed area gawped at the scoreboard.

Cameras were trained on Christie and Ng. Then the result appeared. No gold, but it would be hard to argue this was anything other than a success given the Scot wasn’t even born the last time one of her compatriots was even in one of these finals.

Scotland will win at least two more silver medals on Sunday after boxers Sam Hickey and Sean Lazzerini earned places in gold-medal matches.

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