Commonwealth Games: Eilidh Doyle to be Scots' first female opening ceremony flagbearer

By Tom EnglishBBC Scotland on the Gold Coast
Commonwealth Games: Eilidh Doyle delight at Scotland flagbearer honour
2018 Commonwealth Games
Venue: Gold Coast, Australia Dates: 4-15 April
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV and Red Button with extra streams on Connected TVs, BBC Sport website and app; listen on Radio 5 live; follow text updates online. Times and channels

Eilidh Doyle will be Scotland's first female Commonwealth Games opening ceremony flagbearer - and says it will be one of her proudest moments.

Scotland's most decorated track and field athlete was chosen by her fellow team members to lead the country into the Carrara Stadium on Wednesday.

"This is a highlight of my career," the 31-year-old told BBC Scotland.

"When I look back, in however many years when I've retired, this will be up there."

The 400m hurdler, twice a silver medallist, headed a final shortlist for the ceremony on the Gold Coast that also contained shooter Jen McIntosh and bowlers Alex Marshall and Paul Foster.

"I'm so over the moon," said Doyle, who captained Great Britain in the 2017 World Championships in London.

"Even being nominated, I was so delighted and, being the flagbearer, I'm really, really chuffed.

"To be the first female to have the flag is just incredible."

The opening ceremony takes place mid-morning UK time and, as hosts last time, Scotland will be the first team into the arena.

McIntosh missed out on following in the footsteps of her mother, Shirley, who won four Commonwealth Games medals in shooting - in 1994 in Victoria and 1998 in Kuala Lumpur - and carried the flag at a closing ceremony.

"It was always going to be nice whoever got it," Doyle said. "For Jen, her mum carried the flag before.

"It would have been a huge honour for her. Our two bowlers, who were so iconic in Glasgow and everybody fell in love with them, it would have been incredible for them to carry it.

"This is huge. It's something you don't really think about when you're an up-and-coming athlete and you're wanting success and you're thinking about the championships and the medals and the times and you don't think about these extra honours that go with it."

Eilidh Doyle
Eilidh Doyle is a two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist

Badminton player Kirsty Gilmour revealed Doyle had received her vote.

"I think in terms of leaders for Team Scotland, we couldn't really have picked a much better one," she said.

"I think Eilidh's professionalism just encapsulates the team values that we hold so highly."

Team Scotland chief executive Jon Doig also backed the decision.

"It is an excellent choice and the athletes' choice," he added.

"It is a proud moment in any athlete's life and very few people get selected for this honour."

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