With the Commonwealth Youth Games just over a month away, Scotland sprinter Tom Holligan has already tasted medal success at a multi-sport Games, coming home with a gold and a silver medal from the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey. Tom, who won the 200m with a personal best time of 21.46 and helped the men’s 4x100m relay team to the silver medal, says he also learned a lot from the experience away from the track.
“When I first arrived I found it quite surreal, with so many different countries there and even within my own team there were lots of different sports”, he said. “Throughout the whole experience you are learning about other sports and meeting different people. It was a fantastic experience of an international multi-sport competition which will hopefully serve me well in the Isle of Man.”
Tom’s outstanding achievements in Turkey have seen him named Commonwealth Games Scotland Athlete of the Month for July along with swimmer Craig Benson. Both athletes will receive £250 towards their training and competition costs.
Congratulating the July winners, Commonwealth Games Scotland Chairman Michael Cavanagh said: “Following on from the announcement of our full team for the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games I am delighted to also reveal our latest Athlete of the Month winners. You can see from the achievements of Craig and Tom that we have selected athletes of the highest standard, and I would like to with them both the very best for the Games.”
Edinburgh based Tom also played football for eight years with his local boys club Salvesen, but the time came for him to make a decision about where to focus his attention. “I came to a point where I had to choose, and I think I’m better on the athletics track”, he said.
Despite his recent medal successes Tom is staying focused on the task in hand, with his continued development given top priority. “As long as I run a personal best or run as fast I can I’ll be happy” says Tom. “I can imagine that the competition at the Commonwealth Youth Games will be even harder than the Olympic Festival so I don’t want to set medal targets. I just want to perform well and hopefully make the final.”
Tom is one of nine athletes selected to represent Youth Team Scotland in athletics at the 2011 Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games.