27th December 2013

Selection Nailed for Hammer Throwing Pair

It really is third time lucky for hammer thrower Susan McKelvie, who missed out on a place in Team Scotland for both the Melbourne and Delhi Games but was named in the first batch of selected athletes for Glasgow 2014.

In throwing 79cm short of the Melbourne qualification and 14cm short of the Delhi qualification standard the 28 year old lost so much confidence in missing out on selection last time around that she even considered giving up, but that is now a distant memory.

“For me being selected is a massive day because the last two times I’ve missed out, so I still can’t quite believe it that I’m going to be representing Scotland at the Games,” said McKelvie whose partner, fellow hammer thrower Andy Frost, was also selected for the team on the same day.

It has been a good end to a hard year for the hammer throwing couple from Broxburn in West Lothian. They lost their long term coach Alan Bertram to cancer in May. Then weeks later Frost’s mother succumbed to the same illness.

Thirty two year old Frost will be hoping Glasgow is also third time lucky for him having competed in the Melbourne and Delhi Games, on both occasions just missing out on a medal.

“I missed out on a medal the last two Commonwealth Games by a few centimetres each time, so there is some unfinished business for next year,” said Edinburgh Leisure employee Frost, admitting it was hard leaving McKelvie behind when he headed to the previous Games.

“It’s a relief for both of us because if one isn’t picked then it obviously affects the other.

“Delhi was a difficult situation because I was really happy being picked for the Commonwealth Games but disappointed for Susan as well. It was a hard situation to deal with and the same thing happened in Melbourne as well so we’ve had it twice.”

The pair are clearly inseparable. They practise throwing together on a patch of rough ground near Edinburgh Airport, and use the Heriott-Watt gym for Strength & Conditioning. It works, though Frost admits with a grin, “sometimes if one of us isn’t training too well it ends up with an argument.”

McKelvie’s job, PE teacher in five primary schools, carries the occupational hazards of exposure to more than her fair share of bugs, which has a knock on effect for Frost. A big part of the battle is staying healthy and, particularly for Frost who has had a number of injuries, staying damage free.

“My biggest challenge between now and Glasgow is staying in one piece,” he says. “I’ve had a few injury issues in the past with my knee but if I can stay healthy and fit I know I can challenge for a medal in Glasgow.

“It’s hard with Susan being around children all day long and all the colds she picks up, then coming back in the house. If you pick up a cold you can lose a week’s training, so you really have to look after yourself.”

A significant upside to early Team Scotland selection is that they can focus solely on delivering their best for Glasgow.

“To both get selection over now and to be picked is great because now we can just focus on the training,” adds Frost.

“We can now concentrate on winter training with the ultimate goal of preparing for Glasgow and trying to get on the podium.”

You can follow Andy and Susan on Twitter @therealmcfrost @subomckelvie

Photo Credit: Alistair Devine

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