Special Olympics

Scotland will leave the Special Olympics GB National Games with plenty of badminton success to toast after the delegation picked up 27 medals in the competition.

That haul included six gold medals from Sheffield, as well as seven silver medals and fourteen bronzes, the ideal way to close out the event.

Taking place at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport, the Special Olympics GB National Games is the country’s largest multi-sports event for athletes with intellectual disabilities in 2017.

Around 2,600 athletes with intellectual disabilities of all ages and classifications came together, with almost 90 of those taking to the badminton court.

That included 17 athletes from Scotland and plenty of medals, notably an all-Scottish affair in the final of the Class 1 men’s singles as Michael McCraw picked up gold representing Lothian.

He beat James Pert to top spot on the podium, but the Scotland West athlete was not to walk away empty handed after he took silver – with plenty more to celebrate in the doubles too.

There was also gold for South West’s Ronan Coyle in the men’s singles Class 6, the same discipline in which compatriot Daniel McCleary took bronze representing Tayside.

That wasn’t all in the men’s singles, with Derek Tomkinson also leaving with a medal with bronze in Class 3 after competing alongside Alistair Daniels and Mark Bartlett.

Meanwhile there was lots to savour in the women’s singles, including a silver and bronze for Emma Stewart and Hazel Irvine respectively in Class 4.

Silver was the order of the day for Tayside representative Kerry Duncan too, in Class 2, while Class 1 of the women’s singles saw Diane Gillan take bronze – the same category in which Jennifer Gray finished fifth.

But it wasn’t just the singles where the medals came, with Gray once again in action to team up with McCraw and claim silver in the Class 1 mixed doubles.

That discipline saw a plethora of Scottish success as Pert and Gillan celebrated gold.

Stewart and McCleary leave Sheffield as an Special Olympic bronze medal pair too, with their achievement coming in Class 4.

And there was still time for Pert to complete a hat-trick of medals, following up his singles silver and mixed doubles gold with yet another gold, this time alongside Tomkinson, who also secured singles bronze.

McCleary was to also keep adding new gems to his collection, teaming up with Daniels to take silver – the latter’s second – while Ross McCann and Ronan Coyle won bronze in the same Class 3.

Finally the women’s doubles resulted in a triumvirate of bronze medals for Scotland’s badminton stars, including another medal for Irvine and Karen Lyttle.

The same honour was to fall Emma Stewart and Duncan’s way, while Aimee Allan was on the podium alongside Gillan, once again revelling in a medal-heavy trip to Sheffield.