MORE than half of all Scots want to see a Team Scotland at the next Olympics.

Survation found 53% of voters wanted Scottish athletes to do their own thing, as they do at the Commonwealth Games, rather than as part of a Team GB.

At the last games in Rio, Scottish competitors who took part individually or in team events had their most successful Olympics.

Tennis star Andy Murray and rower Heather Stanning were among the four gold medal winners. Scots also took home seven silver medals and two bronze medals.

At the Paralympic Games, sprinter Libby Clegg was responsible for two of the country’s five gold medals.

Scottish athletes also won eight silver medals and four bronze medals – exceeding their tally from London 2012. All in all, 28 Scots scaled the podium in Rio.

Survation, on behalf of James Kelly’s Scot Goes Pop, asked voters if they thought Scottish athletes should represent Scotland or Great Britain at the Olympic Games.

With “don’t knows” excluded, 53% said yes, while 47% said no.

Ahead of the 2014 referendum, a Scottish Government task force led by former First Minister Henry McLeish claimed Scottish athletes would have “no obvious barriers” to competing at the Olympics.

In his report, he said that based on the experience of other newly formed states, Scotland would be able to tackle the application process with little problem. McLeish told The National he wasn’t surprised by the poll result.

“You find that sport, like most other aspects of life, reflects the wider national mood. And there’s no doubt that in recent months and years, there’s been a strengthening of the Scottish mood.”

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McLeish said he had no strong views against the idea of Scottish team, only currently, under the rules of the games, that it wouldn’t be allowed.

The former Labour leader added: “And even in terms of the questions about sport, it’s important for Westminster, Boris Johnson, and the Conservative government in particular to to stop treating with contempt the mood in Scotland, and start to face up to the challenge of providing some alternative. What does the Union stand for in 2021? What is the case for the Union? Because if they continue to treat the Scottish national mood lightly then all that will happen is that mood will intensify.”

The SNP’s Pete Wishart, who previously backed a parliamentary motion calling for a Scottish team, told The National he believed a Team Scotland could be a reality in time for the Paris games in 2024.

He said: “I don’t think that it should come as any great surprise that the Scottish people would now prefer to compete as Team Scotland in the Olympics as the idea of nation Scotland is becoming our settled will.

“Increasingly we are seeing ourselves as a nation equipped to be part of the world community with our own contribution to make in sport as well as through our creativity and enterprise.

“It would be fantastic to see a Scotland team march behind the Saltire in Paris. It would be particularly satisfying to do that as an independent nation.”

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The already-delayed 2020 Olympic Games are due to be held this summer in Tokyo. But just weeks ago, the city and surrounding area was plunged into a state of emergency following a surge in coronavirus cases.

Yesterday, a report in the Times claimed the Japanese government has “privately concluded” that the Olympics and Paralympics will have to be called off due to rising coronavirus rates.

Though the government described the report as “categorically untrue”.

Double Paralympic silver medalist Stef Reid said the speculation was unhelpful for athletes trying to prepare. “This is exhausting. If it is true, make it official,” she tweeted.