Table tennis star “absolutely delighted” to be competing in Commonwealth Games

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Shetland table tennis star Lynda Flaws says she is “absolutely delighted” to have landed a place in Team Scotland for the Commonwealth Games.

The final team line-up was announced yesterday, and Flaws, admitted after learning of her inclusion “it didn’t quite seem real”.

The 21-year-old will be competing in the team event, women’s singles and women’s doubles and plays her first match on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. She will be making her Commonwealth Games debut.

Glasgow has become “a second home” for Flaws, who is studying physiology and sports science at the University of Glasgow.

The Scotstoun Leisure Centre, where the matches are being held is where Flaws landed her first Scottish title.

“I’ve spent the last three years in Glasgow, you’re aware of the excitement growing as the games approaches,” she said.

Playing table tennis has seen her travel to Delhi and Paris and she recently arrived back from Tokyo after representing the Scotland women’s team at the World Team Table Tennis Championships.

The experience she has picked up along the way gives her a good grounding in the lead up to the games, she said and Flaws feels she played well in Japan.

Earning a place in Team Scotland means the hard work has paid off, she added and on Sunday she will be heading to Hungary for a week-long training camp.

That will mean a chance to have“lots of time on the table,” said Flaws and the chance to sharpen up and have more confidence in taking shots in the game.

“I think confidence is quite a big thing – to feel you’re playing well and that you have put in the hours leading into the competition and you feel you have done all you can.”

After the trip to Hungary, Flaws will travel to Stirling for a preparation camp until the games start.

And playing on a platform like the Commonwealth Games can only add to her experience, she says.

“Every tournament is good experience but especially ones like these, where there should be a good level to play against.”

Playing table tennis at the games was also an important chance to promote the “small” sport, she added.

“I think it’s such a good chance for us to try and give ourselves a good image and try and encourage young players to take up the sport.”

Flaws admits success in the singles competition depends on the draw but added: “If I play my best and feel I have done everything I can, I will be happy.”

She added her family “were all very excited” for her and are looking forward to watching her in the games.

Meanwhile para-sport Swimmer Erraid Davies has also landed a place, and at 13 years old, takes the youngest team member spot of all time.

Davies, originally from Dundee, swims for Brae club Delting Dolphins and is a member of the Scottish Para Swimming  Squad. The teenager will compete in the SB9 100 metre breastroke in Glasgow.

Andrea Strachan, who picked up a third place in the 50 metre breastroke in the British Championships in 2012, will also be in the swimming pool, the 21-year-old will be competing in the 50 metre breaststroke in Glasgow.

Head coach of Lerwick swim team Petur Petursson has coached Strachan in the past and said having three athletes in the Commonwealth Games proved “the potential is there” for Shetland athletes to achieve at the highest level.

He said it was important to keep that going and provide the opportunity for Shetland athletes in future.

“For a place like Shetland to have two swimmers and a total of three athletes competing at the Commonwealth Games is pretty impressive,” he said.

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