Commonwealth Games 2014: Eilidh Child comes of age as silver in 400 metres hurdles suffices for Glasgow poster girl

There was no 'Liz McColgan moment' but Child did not let the occasion get the better of her

Hampden Park

A tale of two silvers and the tale of the poster boy and poster girl of Glasgow 2014. To mark the countdown to the Games, Eilidh Child had posed for photographs on the roof of Hampden Park. Tonight there were moments when she threatened to raise it. Hampden roared and Scotland’s golden girl took silver in the 400 metres hurdles.

It was a good run and a good result, not what the hosts had hoped for but what they expected – untethered optimism has been banished from this grand old ground since Ally McLeod left to bring home the World Cup – and Child did her lap of honour as the stadium bounced in celebration to Scotland’s other anthem, “500 miles”.

Happiness reigned in Hampden, although Child did have one issue. Being a committed Hearts fan and the Proclaimers dyed in the wool Hibs supporters, she was not singing along as she lapped the ground, a Saltire wrapped around her shoulders.

Like the supporters, Child was satisfied with her silver – she came in nearly a second behind Jamaica’s Kaliese Spencer, the pre-Games favourite and fastest woman in the world this year – in utter contrast with Michael Jamieson, the swimmer scripted to be the star of opening night of the Games a week earlier.

Jamieson, the poster boy, failed to handle the expectation and it hurt him. Like Child he is based in Bath and so had a remove from the growing excitement as Games time came closer. The 25-year-old Glaswegian was the only British swimmer to cope with the home Games pressure in London. He could not manage it in his own backyard and admitted nerves had got the better of his performance. His second place was no silver lining.

It seems as if Jamieson and Child stare down at you from every billboard in this city. The latter stepped out on to the track in conditions remarkably similar to those in which the slim, slight figure of Liz Lynch, later McColgan, ran to a famous gold the last time Scotland hosted the Games 18 years ago. There was to be no McColgan moment but Child did not let the occasion get the better of her.

“I came off that line and my legs were gone,” she said. “I am delighted to come away with a silver medal. I knew as soon as I crossed that line I had given my all.

“I had an easier job than Michael because I wasn’t the out-and-out favourite going into that race. I was always the underdog against Kaliese. I had a little bit less pressure than Michael – I think he’s had a bit of a raw deal. He should be proud of how he competed. I will cherish my silver medal.”

When she received it Hampden cherished her – she grinned where Jamieson had looked thunderous. To be fair Hampden cherished pretty much anybody who stepped onto the track on a chill, damp evening, from Jazmin Sawyers, who leapt to a surprise silver for England in the long jump, to her compatriots Jodie Williams and Bianca Williams taking silver and bronze in the 200m behind Blessing Okagbare, who completed an emphatic sprint double. The unrelated Williams both ran personal bests.

“It’s an amazing atmosphere,” said a buoyant Jodie. “This is just the start. This is a massive thing – we beat the Jamaicans. People are quick to write off women’s sprinters but we have shown that we can peak on this stage and in front of a strong field. It’s a sign of good things to come.”

David Weir completed his medal set by adding Commonwealth gold to his Olympic, world and European titles with victory in the T54 1500m. Weir took off round the final bend and accelerated away from the defending champion, Australia’s Kurt Fearnley, in the home straight. He was cheered every turn of the wheel.

“It was in the back of mind after 2012, should I carry on?” said Weir. “This is why I carried on. It feels like London, so many English flags.” And even more Scottish ones, and the wavers of each went home happy – which has to be a first from an evening in Hampden Park.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Billie Piper as Brona in Penny Dreadful
tvReview: It’s business as usual in Victorian London. Let’s hope that changes as we get further into the new series spoiler alert
Life and Style
A nurse tends to a recovering patient on a general ward at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham
Arts and Entertainment
No Offence
tvReview: No Offence has characters who are larger than life and yet somehow completely true to life at the same time spoiler alert
Chuck Norris pictured in 1996
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Lucas, I SCREAM DADDIO, Installation View, British Pavilion 2015
artWhy Sarah Lucas is the perfect choice to represent British art at the Venice Biennale
A voter placing a ballot paper in the box at a polling station
Arts and Entertainment
The Queen (Kristin Scott Thomas) in The Audience
theatreReview: Stephen Daldry's direction is crisp in perfectly-timed revival
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Dublin

£13676.46 - £16411.61 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment Cons...

Ashdown Group: Marketing or Business Graduate Opportunity - Norwich - £22,000

£18000 - £22000 per annum + training: Ashdown Group: Business and Marketing Gr...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power