15:32, Oct 17 2007
Tennis king takes gold and bronze at Special Olympics in China
AN East Kilbride man has written himself into the town’s sporting history after picking up a gold and bronze medal at the 12th Special Olympics World Summer Games in Shanghai.
Stephen McEwan, 23, won the bronze for the Great Britain tennis doubles team and then, later that same day, topped it by taking gold in the singles event.
The Gardenhall man said he was delighted with his medal success although he admitted to being a trifle peeved at not taking at least silver in the doubles event.
Stephen, who works at Sainsbury’s in the town centre, said: “Don’t get me wrong, me and my partner Kevin Hogan were delighted to win the bronze, but to be honest, we were a little disappointed not to get the silver as we thought we thought we could beat the pair we met.”
In a complete contrast, he admitted he was surprised to win the gold in the singles event.
Stephen continued: “In the singles, I would have been content with silver as the Australian guy I met in the final beat me in the prelim event at the start of the tournament.
“But, as it turned out, I got the better of him and I was ecstatic to win the gold.
Stephen beat Australia’s Peter Kerin 6-2 and said it was an amazing feeling to be standing on the podium with the gold round his neck.
“It was just such as brilliant feeling and I want to thank my coaches John Gilchrist and Pete Moore for helping me,” he continued.
“All my training in the Calderwood tennis courts has definitely been worth it.”
Stephen’s parents – dad Sandy and mum Anne-Marie – joined him in China, although by the time of the final his mum was so nervous that she simply could not bear to watch.
Sandy said: “She was just too nervous and was also worried that our presence there might have put extra pressure on him, but I wanted to see him play.
“He won it spectacularly, but my emotion at the time was one of relief as I was also worried my presence might have put him off, and I was just glad it didn’t.
“We’re both really proud he’s managed to achieve this and his medals have pride of place on the mantelpiece.”
For the moment it is back to work tomorrow for Stephen although he hopes to have further success.
He continued: “My next get-together is not until March, next year, but I’ll keep practising to improve my game.
“The medals are quite heavy, but I wouldn’t swap them for the world.”
Robert McNamara won the Cumberland-style all weights world championship 10 times. When in the army he was the forces shot put champion. A challenge match with a sumo wrestler, which Big Rab won, was shown on Japanese TV. English sports writer Roger Robson described Big Ran as, "the most dominant heavyweight wrestler in the past 150 years in the sport".
1st October 2007
Kirsty Young is to replace Fiona Bruce as presenter of the BBC's Crimewatch programme.
The East Kilbride-born broadcaster will host the show from January.
Kirsty also presents BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.
She began her career as a newsreader for BBC Radio Scotland, going on to work for ITV and Channel Five.