SWIMMING REVIEW: Glasgow unveils new wave of talent

Northern Ireland's Danielle Hill following the Women's 50m Backstroke Semi-final
Northern Ireland's Danielle Hill following the Women's 50m Backstroke Semi-final

The fragility of life at the top of the swimming world was brutally exposed in a Commonwealth Games meet that saw a host of young stars emerge for the home nations.

The 25-year-old was Glasgow 2014's poster boy and the Olympic silver-medallist had openly targeted the world record in the 200 metres.

But a new hero emerged on the opening night as 20-year-old Scot Ross Murdoch beat his team-mate and inspiration to gold, along with established stars such as Australian Christian Sprenger and South Africa's Cameron van der Burgh, shocking even himself.

And a new wave of talent continued sweeping to success throughout the six days of action at Tollcross International Swimming Centre.

English teenagers Siobhan-Marie O'Connor, Sophie Taylor, Adam Peaty and Ben Proud bagged 14 medals between them, including six golds, while 19-year-old Ollie Hynd also took gold, although the Paralympic champion was already an established star.

And a 13-year-old star emerged in Erraid Davies, who took bronze for Scotland in the 100m para-sport breaststroke SB9.

O'Connor was the most decorated of the new stars, winning six medals including gold in the 200m individual medley, which was the joint-highest in Glasgow 2014 until South African Chad le Clos, in the final race of the meet, equalled fellow swimmer Ian Thorpe's Commonwealth record of seven in a single Games.

Despite their success, England's 28-medal haul was just less than half that of Australia, but while they could not match their dominance, they did deliver an unexpected blow in the final race as Peaty, Adam Brown, Adam Barrett and Chris Walker-Hebborn denied them a clean sweep in the relays with their country's first gold medal in the 4x100m medley for 64 years.

Scotland secured a very healthy 10 medals including silver for Jamieson, whose feeling that he had let people down was not shared by anyone other than himself.

Murdoch also bagged bronze in the 100m breaststroke but he was joined in the limelight by Dan Wallace, who shot to fame with gold in the 400m individual medley.

The 21-year-old captured the imagination with his Braveheart-style celebration and took two more silvers, including a freestyle relay performance which saw the hosts push Australia all the way. Hannah Miley also claimed gold, retaining her 400m IM title.

Wales enjoyed their best Commonwealth Games in the pool with their seven-medal total beating their own target.

Jazz Carlin and Georgia Davies both took gold - the only Welsh women to do so in the pool since Pat Beavan managed the first in 1974.

Wales also had a young star of the future in Daniel Jervis, who knocked 11 seconds off his personal best to claim a bronze in the 1500m freestyle.

Edinburgh's Royal Commonwealth Pool hosted the Games for a third time - after the capital's hosting in 1970 and 1986 - as the four-day diving competition saw Jack Laugher share the limelight with Tom Daley.

Laugher, the 19-year-old Yorkshireman, won gold medals in the men's one-metres springboard and three-metres synchronised springboard, alongside best friend Chris Mears, as well as silver in the individual three-metres event.

Daley claimed gold in the men's 10m platform, successfully defending the title he won in Delhi with a third Commonwealth gold, before insisting he would continue until the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016 by emphatically rejecting retirement rumours.

There were four golds for England in all, with Alicia Blagg and Rebecca Gallantree winning the women's synchronised three-metres springboard.

Daley and James Denny claimed a dramatic silver in the men's synchronised 10m platform, with Sarah Barrow and Tonia Couch second in the corresponding women's event.

Nick Robinson-Baker and Freddie Woodward took bronze behind Laugher and Mears in the synchronised three-metres springboard, while Oliver Dingley was third in the individual event and Hannah Starling took bronze in the corresponding women's event.

Grace Reid narrowly missed out on Scotland's first diving medal in 56 years in the women's one-metres springboard.

Sir Peter Heatly, now 90, is Scotland's only Commonwealth diving medallist and watched his grandson James compete in Edinburgh earlier in the week.

James Heatly's best result was eighth in the three-metres springboard.

The competition also saw 13-year-old Victoria Vincent and 14-year-old Matthew Dixon make their diving bows for England, showing the future is promising after 10 medals from 10 events.