Silver Against the Odds for Sharp

August 2, 2014

Lynsey Sharp went from the hospital to the podium in little more than 12 hours on an unbelievable Hampden night. The European champion claimed 800m Silver with a superb late surge to pip Uganda’s Winnie Nanyondo.

It came only hours after she had felt sick and attended the polyclinic in the Athletes’ Village with Team Scotland head coach, Stephen Maguire. “It does not feel real,” said an emotional Lynsey, who clocked 2.01.34 behind winner, World Champion Eunice Sum. “The past year has been a nightmare for me with injuries and illnesses and I wasn’t at all well through the night. But it just came down to me having one shot at it – for two minutes. And I’ve made it onto the podium for a silver medal.”

Scotland’s 4 x 400m were Hampden heroes as they claimed a National Record, which had stood since 1990, as they qualified for the final on Saturday. The quartet of Kris Robertson, Jamie Bowie, Greg Louden and Grant Plenderleith took third place, just behind England and Jamaica, with a great run of 3.03.94. That was a Native Record and a National Record, with the latter having been set in Auckland in 1990 when Scotland won Commonwealth Silver with the likes of Tom McKean and Brian Whittle in the team.

Bowie said: “The guys who held this record won Silver medals in Auckland 24 years ago. So it means a lot to take that and it is more than two seconds quicker than we did to qualify (for the Games) – so that shows how we are stepping up. We’d England and Jamaica but actually that was helpful. Now we are in a final and just have to run our very best and see if something happens which we can capitalise on.”

Jax Thoirs came close to a pole vault medal but had to settle for fourth place and a Native Record at 5.45m, agonisingly losing out on count-back to Canada’s Shawnacy Barber. Thoirs went close at 5.55m – with only two Englishmen making it over that height. Jax said: ‘It was cruel, probably the worst way to end. But it was amazing out there. I was worried whether the crowd was going to help or hinder me but it helped me. I just got unlucky at the end. I was going for the win so I’m disappointed but what an experience.”

The Women’s 4 x400m team set a Native Record but were squeezed out of the final which would have afforded Eilidh Child another Hampden appearance. Kirsten McAslan, Diane Ramsay, Gemma Nicol and Zoey Clark ran 3.33.91 – to obliterate the previous Native Record of 3.41.45 set back in 2001.

Aberdeen youngster Zoey Clark said: “That was an unbelievable experience. To hear people roaring like that for you spurs you on. If we’ve managed a Native Record then that is great because we are a young team and hopefully there is something there for the future.”

In the men’s 10,000m, Andrew Lemoncello was best-placed of the three Scots with his 12th place finish at 28.36.63 for a Season’s Best. There was a PB for Luke Caldwell at 14th with 28.47.39 and Callum Hawkins finished 20th in 29.12.52.
Kirsty Law was 11th in the discus final with 52.33; Jayne Nisbet finished 10th equal with her best clearance 1.78 in the high jump final and Stephen Lisgo was 8th in the 3000m steeplechase final in 9.05.13.

In the 1500m heats, there was progress for Chris O’Hare but Jake Wightman and David Bishop missed out on final places. Chris ran 3.40.80 to qualify automatically from his heat and said: “It is good to get through. I want to have fun in the final. Of course it will be hard work but if I can’t enjoy this kind of thing with that crowd then what will you enjoy? Sometimes when you are a ‘professional’ you forget about these things but I just loved seeing the smiles on people’s faces out there. I’m looking forward to Saturday.”

Scotland now have four track and field medals – the best haul since the 1990 Games in Auckland – heading into the final day of Athletics action at Hampden tomorrow.

Photo Credit: Getty Images


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