Judo gold for Euan Burton

  • Last Updated: July 26 2014, 22:37 BST

Euan Burton secured a golden end to his judo career at the Commonwealth Games, where Scotland produced their biggest ever single-sport medal haul, but there was disappointment for his wife Gemma Gibbons, who had to settle for silver.

  • Euan Burton celebrates winning gold over Shah Hussain Shah
  • Scotland's Sarah Adlington celebrates defeating England's Jodie Myers 
  • Scotland's Christopher Sherrington celebrates defeating South Africa's Ruan Snyman 
  • England's Gemma Gibbons appears dejected after losing to Natalie Powell 
  • Matthew Purssey of Scotland applauds the fans after earning a silver 

Burton had come out of retirement when the opportunity presented itself to fight for Scotland in Glasgow - and the twice middleweight world championship bronze medalist needed all of his experience having chosen to step up two weights after moving into coaching following London 2012.

The 35-year-old, who suffered a disappointing first-round exit at the Olympics, produced some sublime judo against heavier men to make it to the final, where he threw Shah Hussain Shah of Pakistan before holding him down to submission and taking in the wave of euphoria as the Saltires flew around Hall 3.

Flower of Scotland was to be the anthem of judo's final session on its return to the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 12 years, as heavyweights Sarah Adlington and Chris Sherrington also won gold.

Edinburgh Ratho fighter Matthew Purssey, born and raised in Surrey before moving to Edinburgh in 2002, had to settle for silver as he was beaten by South African Zack Piontek in the final of the under-90kgs, while Glasgow's Andrew Burns won bronze through the repechage.

England may have topped the medal table, ahead on silver, but Scotland's six golds - a pair on the opening night from the Renicks sisters - two silver and five bronze eclipsed the efforts of the swimming team at Melbourne 2006.

Burton said: "I have played my part as an athlete for the last 15 years for Judo Scotland, most of the time representing Great Britain but certainly doing that with my Scottish cap on. Now I have been on the coaching staff for two years and am very proud of the players on the team.

"These achievements are a credit not just to the players, who are the ones who do all of the hard work and without that no-one gets any medals, but the people behind them, the coaches, the physios, the strength-and-conditioning guys, all of the staff at Judo Scotland, they helped to make this week happen - 13 medals out of 14 athletes is a pretty good return.

"Hopefully now we will get more and more kids through the door, some of them might want to be the next Renicks sisters or the next Sarah Clark, some of them might even want to be the next Euan Burton, you never know."

Despite all of the highs of this week, which started with Burton carrying the Team Scotland flag at the opening ceremony and ended with him on top of the podium, the judoka maintains there was never any issue of achievements in Glasgow replacing the disappointments of London 2012.

He added: "I worked my whole life to try to be Olympic champion, and I fell short at both Games I made it to.

"Now, it is just a sense of relief at the moment, I guess tomorrow the excitement and pride will come."

Gibbons, meanwhile, fell just short of being able to ensure the fairytale ending when the Olympic silver medallist was beaten by upcoming Wales fighter Natalie Powell in the under-78kgs final.

The 27-year-old has just returned from a long injury lay-off, and lacked the sharpness needed to overcome Powell, who has broken into the world's top 16 with consistent results on the International Judo Federation circuit.

"There can be no excuses, I was just not good enough, but I know that I can still be the best in the country and the world, or I would not still be going to training every day," she said.

Powell, meanwhile, felt her victory had emphasised a point which was perhaps missed in the run-up to the Games.

The Wales gold medallist said: "I had heard so many people saying 'Natalie Powell? Nah. She is going to lose to Gemma. Gemma is number one.' I hope that I proved today that maybe she is not anymore.

"But she is a fabulous competitor and a really nice girl, I am just really happy to have beaten her."

Scotland claimed another gold in the women's +78kgs heavyweights, where Adlington edged out England's Jodie Myers, the British Judo Centre of Excellence fighter, on a Yuko.

Royal Marine Chris Sherrington made it a golden end for Scotland when he threw South African Ruan Snyman for two Waza-ari scores to claim the men's +100kgs title.

England's Gary Hall won bronze at under-90kgs, while Mark Shaw of Wales, a lieutenant commander in the Royal Navy, secured heavyweight bronze.