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Braveheart-inspired Wallace roars to victory

Dann Wallace

Dan Wallace said he had been inspired by the film “Braveheart” as he won Scotland’s third swimming gold medal

Dann WallaceGlasgow: Dan Wallace said he had been inspired by the film “Braveheart” as he won Scotland’s third swimming gold medal of the Commonwealth Games on home soil in the men’s 400m individual medley.

Wallace came home in a time of 4min 11:28sec to pip Australia’s Thomas Fraser-Holmes and Sebastien Rousseau of South Africa into second and third respectively.

The 21-year-old could be seen bellowing “Freedom” after touching the wall to seal the win, just as his namesake William Wallace does in the film.

“I just screamed ‘freedom’ at the top of my lungs because just being here in front of a home crowd just brought out the Braveheart inside of me,” he said.

“I watched it just last week to get ready for this. It’s such a Scottish thing. It warms my heart.”

However, Wallace also didn’t play down the political significance of his celebration just two months out from a referendum on Scottish independence.

Asked whether he would support First Minister Alex Salmond’s view on freedom, Wallace replied “yes I would.”

Victory represented a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for Wallace after being indefinitely suspended by the University of Florida for a violation of team rules on a night out in May. And he admitted that reprimand should prove to be a positive turning point in his career.

“I was very close (to not making the team). “I reached a point in my life where I had to choose which path I was going to take and I think being here with a gold medal for Scotland proves I chose the right one.

“I was trying to live the life of a rock star and still perform in the pool, but you can’t do both.

“I’m a professional athlete and I have to act and behave accordingly.”

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