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sport

Orkney netballer all smiles during Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

Sarah MacPhail (middle row) is all smiles in the Team Scotland kit at last night’s opening ceremony. (Photograph: Craig Watson)

The opening ceremony of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham took place last night — and Orkney athlete Sarah MacPhail was there, savouring every moment.

MacPhail, part of Scotland’s netball side at the Games, walked out with her teammates resplendent in Team Scotland’s tartan kit.

The Games are now under way, featuring the world’s biggest sporting superstars and teams in more than a week of action.

MacPhail and her fellow netballers face a baptism of fire, coming up against world number one side and the Games’ most successful team, Australia.

The match will begin at 12pm on Saturday.

Scotland will also face Jamaica, South Africa, Wales and Barbados in a jam-packed and intense group stage schedule.

MacPhail and sprinter Taylah Spence will both feature for Scotland at the Games in a huge boost for Orkney’s sporting community.

Spence, who is part of the 4×100-metre women’s relay side, is getting set for a whirlwind few days, including the small matter
of getting married.

Just two days after tying the knot to fiancée Jack Paterson, she will, on Monday, August 1, depart the county in order to link up with her Scottish teammates in Birmingham.

The relay heats begin on Saturday, August 6, before it is hoped that Scotland will feature in the final on Sunday, August 7.

Meanwhile, Orkney-born badminton player Sean Vendy will also star for England during the Games, while weightlifter Ross Sinclair will also be at the Games as part of a development programme for aspiring future Games athletes.