Glasgow 2014: Euan Burton to carry Scottish flag at Games

Euan Burton will be making his Commonwealth Games debut
Euan Burton will be making his Commonwealth Games debut
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Dates: 23 July - 3 AugustCoverage: Live on BBC TV, HD, BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Radio Scotland, Red Button, Connected TVs, online, tablets and mobiles

Judo player Euan Burton will carry the Scotland flag at the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Wednesday evening.

The 35-year-old was selected from a shortlist which also featured hockey captain Linda Clement, shooter Jennifer McIntosh and bowler Alex Marshall.

"It's fantastic. It's a moment of great pride for me," said the multiple World and European medal-winning judoka.

"It's credit to how well people think of judo as a sport in Scotland."

Burton was chosen to carry the saltire by his peers in the 310-strong Scotland team, which will compete across all 17 sports.

He told BBC Scotland: "To have people from such a diverse range of sports say this guy from judo is the person we would like to lead us out in a home Games, it's such an honour.

"I don't think I'll realise quite how big a deal it is until we're actually walking out at Celtic Park, but what a privilege."

Burton has competed in two Olympics but this will be his first Commonwealth Games. Judo has been absent from the programme since the Games were held in Manchester in 2002.

There he was a reserve and training partner for Graeme Randall who went on to win gold for Scotland.

Euan Burton and wife Gemma Gibbons, who will compete for England at Glasgow 2014
Burton and wife Gemma Gibbons, who will compete for the England judo team at Glasgow 2014

The honour is likely to help assuage the disappointment of when he lost his -81kg bout against Canada's Antoine Valois-Fortier.

Burton has since moved up to the -100kg category and won last October.

He also instructs younger fighters at Judo Scotland's training base in Ratho.

He said: "I'm now involved in coaching a number of guys in the team, which adds a completely different dynamic.

"There's also the fact and to add being flag bearer on top of that is incredible."

Burton was handed the flag at a Team Scotland ceremony on Monday by Sir Chris Hoy, who said: "I've been a team-mate of Euan's over the years.

"He's a great ambassador for his sport and for Scotland, so it makes complete sense that he's been voted by his peers to carry the flag into the opening ceremony.

"I don't think there's a greater accolade than to be recognised by your peers because these are the guys who do the same thing as you.

"They know all about the hard work, the commitment, training and lifestyle that you have to adopt to become successful in your sport."

Burton admitted he hopes to "catch a quick chat" with Hoy for advice on how to settle his nerves for the ceremony.