Silver success for Scots at Cycling world championships

Credit: British Cycling

Silver is the colour of choice for Scottish athletes at the Track Cycling World Championships in Berlin this week.

Scotland’s cycling sweetheart Katie Archibald was joined by fellow Scot Neah Evans to clinch silver in the women’s team pursuit last night.

Jack Carlin and his team also claimed second in the sprint on Wednesday evening.

Sports journalist Susan Egelstaff told EN4 news: “I think it’s a pretty good return (for the Scottish athletes) so far.

“I think these world championships are not necessarily the same as a normal world championship because it’s an Olympic year…”

Egelstaff continued: “Obviously they want to become world champion and they want to win world medals, but I think more than anything they will be using this as a marker for the Olympics. The riders will be giving everything on the day but I think that come Tokyo, there will be a little bit more to give.”

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Team GB though, with veteran Jason Kenny failing to qualify for the Kerin final and his wife Laura not medalling in the scratch race. “The expectations on them are so high that whenever they don’t win, it’s considered an upset.

“It just shows how strong world cycling is; it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, you can’t expect to just walk in and medal on the world stage,” Susan continued.

“I think there definitely could be a few more medals for the Scottish athletes and would expect more for the GB team.”

Day three of the championships have just kicked off over in Germany. Dundee’s Mark Stewart will compete in the men’s point race shortly, while Great Britain’s most successful ever female Olympian, Laura Kenny, will be hoping to add to her silver when she begins her omnium campaign this evening.

Hear our full interview with Susan Egelstaff, here:

“We can’t wait to get started” – Livingston Women’s FC look for dream debut as team prepare for first competitive fixture

Credit: VFSportsPix

 

Livingston Women’s FC head coach Paul Jaconelli has told EN4 News that he “can’t wait to get started” ahead of the club’s competitive debut this weekend.

The club was only created in December 2019 after a partnership was formed with fellow West Lothian side Blackburn United.

Head coach Paul Jaconelli is the first ever manager in the new side’s dugout and he believes there is a gap for the club to take advantage of.

“There has been a lot of restructuring over the last year within the women’s game in Scotland, and we feel we have a really good opportunity to get ourselves to a level above,” he said ahead of the big kick-off.

“We have signed some very good players from the highest level in the game, and we can’t wait to get started competitively.”

The Lionesses will compete in the Scottish Women’s Football South Division, which will see them take on Edinburgh City Ladies at the Tony Macaroni Arena on Sunday.

Their alliance with Blackburn United means that the most senior players from The Burnie will play under the Livingston WFC banner along with some new signings.

Credit: VFSportsPix

Speaking on the link-up, Jaconelli said: ‘’This alliance gave not only Livingston, but also Blackburn a stronger brand and a very good pathway, which is a great attraction for potential new players as well as our loyal players who have been with us through thick and thin.”

But they are not underestimating their opponents come Sunday.

“Edinburgh City are a brand new team, so are very much an unknown quantity right now. They have kept themselves well under the radar, so we aren’t sure what to expect from the weekend.”

Women’s football has seen a significant growth in Scotland over the past few years, with the national team qualifying for the World Cup in France last year.

Captain Vicky Wood, who will be the first player to lead out the new side, says the effect is being felt at all levels.

She told EN4 News: “For me personally, it’s had a massive impact. Girls’ football was almost non-existent when I was growing up.

“Now you can see how far it’s come with the number of girls and women who play.”

Scottish cycling stars secure success

There was much Scottish success to celebrate at the British Track Cycling Championships in Manchester.

Sprint cyclist, Lusia Steele, from Renfrewshire was one of the athletes returning home with a medal round her neck.

The 19-year-old clinched a silver medal in the women’s team sprint along with fellow Scot, Lucy Grant, while also earning a personal best in the individual sprint.

Speaking exclusively to EN4 News, Steele said: “I was pretty pleased with how nationals went this year, I was a bit unwell in the lead up to it, so I almost didn’t race on Friday, thankfully I did though.”

“We managed to beat our own Scottish record and I managed to get a personal best in my lap. As always there are a few things that have left me a bit frustrated but overall, it was a pretty successful weekend.”

It has been a big few years for the Scottish teenager who upped and moved to Manchester after she was invited to join the Great British Cycling Team as part of the Under 23 academy squad in 2018. Since then, she has represented the squad not only nationally but also at last year’s UCI Junior track World championships.

CREDIT: Sophie Capewell

Talking about her time training with the GBCT, Ms. Steele said, “Training as part of the program with such an amazing group of people is really good, we all cheer each other on. Having the morale of the group and knowing no matter what time you do they’ll still be there to support you helps.” Ms. Steele added:” We all just trust the process and trust that the results will come from it.”

When asked what her long-term goal is, she said: “The obvious answer is the 2024 Olympics, it’s basically what every athlete wants. On the way there hopefully, there will be the chance to represent Scotland at the Commonwealth games.”

Further Scottish success included Endurance rider, John Archibald who came home with two national titles, after retaining his own Individual pursuit title and claiming gold in the team pursuit along with his teammates.

Mr. Archibald’s success is one that has captured the attention of cycling fans across the country, not only for being the brother of cycling golden girl Katie Archibald, but for rising through the ranks very quickly with no funding and unusually not joining the British cycling team.

Olympian turned sports journalist, Susan Egelstaff, told EN4News: “‘It’s really inspiring that there are guys that aren’t in the system and are still doing really well.”

She continued: “It shows young Scottish riders that there are different paths. There’s isn’t any magic formula, if you start at the bottom and work really hard. You’ve got a really good chance of working your way up the rungs of the ladder.”

For more senior riders, the British Championships was another chance to prove themselves on the competition stage before Olympic selection.

Jack Carlin, the 22-year-old from Paisley has all but cemented his place in Tokyo this year after taking home his fourth national title in the Team Sprint, alongside his team which included six-time Olympic champion Jason Kenny.

Egelstaff stated that not only is this team pretty much assured a place in Japan this year, but they also have a very good chance of medaling.

When asked what she will take away from the performances at the weekend, Egelstaff said “Scottish track cycling has been doing so well for so long, so it’s good to see there’s some strength in depth with a new wave of riders coming through.”

It seems that the future of track cycling is bright for Scotland in Tokyo and beyond.

Alex Salmond: Former First Minister appears in court charged with several counts of sexual assault against 10 women

 

The former First Minister, Alex Salmond, pictured arriving at court last year. (Credit: EN4 News)

Former First Minister Alex Salmond has appeared in court charged with counts of sexual assault against 10 women.

The former SNP leader denies the 14 charges, which include one count of attempted rape, one count of intent to rape, 10 counts of sexual assault and two of indecent assault.

The offences are alleged to have taken place while Salmond served as First Minster.

Speaking outside the high court in Edinburgh, Salmond, 64, said he was innocent and said he will defend himself ‘vigorously’.

He continued: “But the only proper place to answer criminal charges is in this court.”

The attempted rape allegation relates to an instance inside Bute House in June 2014 where it is claimed the politician is alleged to have pushed a woman against a wall, to have removed her clothes and his own, before pushing her onto a bed and lying naked on top of her.

Another is said to have taken place on a visit to Stirling Castle.

The allegations are said to have taken place over a period of 6 years form 2008 until 2014.

Salmond, served as first minister of Scotland from 2007 until 2014, when he resigned following the Independence referendum. He was then elected as member of parliament for Gordon, in Aberdeen-shire until 2017.

He resigned from the Scottish National party in August 2018 follow allegations of sexual misconduct.

His QC, Gordon Jackson, said Mr Salmond was pleading not guilty, and judge Lady Dorrian set the trial date for 9 March next year.

EN4News Local Bulletin: 21/11/19

Local correspondent Megan Bonar rounds up today’s top Edinburgh news stories;

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