Tommy’s no lightweight when it comes to sprinting

editorial image

Due to a date clash with Bridge of Allan Highland Games, the youths and junior races were combined to form an abbreviated race card at Meadowmill on Sunday.

This, however, did not detract from the quality of running.

The main event of the day was successfully defended by 2012 champion Tommy Finkle (TLJT, 11.5m), who had it all to do against race favourite Richard Eland (Broughton, 16.5m).

Finkle blasted from the starting blocks, taking a deep breath with 20m to go, and surged to the front, finishing a clear half-metre from Eland and third-placed Kevin Turner of Edinburgh in 10.54 seconds.

Finkle has been a main contender in the sprint finals this season, having been present in most of them, and puts his success down to his recent weight loss.

“I have quite deliberately lost almost two stone since Christmas and have been feeling the benefits on the summer circuit,” he told TheSouthern.

The 49-year-old has slimmed down from 14 to just over 12 stone and has no intentions of slowing down in his athletics career.

He added: “I have been running now for the best part of 40 years and during that time I have made some great friends on the circuit. Now I am enjoying my running as much as ever, as well as watching the young athletes progress, and enjoy the games as I have done.”

All six races on Sunday were keenly contested. None more so than the open 1,500m which saw race leader Gavin Taitt (TLJT) having to draw all his energy reserves to battle off a challenge from John Thomson of Coaltown.

Thomson, who was involved in a similar battle the previous day, had to settle for second place behind Taitt, who recorded his third win of the season.

In the 200m open, Kevin Turner hit top form after a series of near misses in recent weeks. Running from 43m, the capital runner made his intentions clear from the gun.

His first 30 metres were decisive, before cruising the rest to cross the line with two metres of fresh air still intact between him and training partner Keiran Reilly, and Kelso’s Ewan Pettigrew.

In the youths’ events, Daniel Elliott of Hawick won the 100m handicap from Caris Brus (TLJT) with Nicole Campbell (Hawick) taking third spot in a tight finish.

The 200m was won by Archie Fuller (Chirnside) from the front markers position.

His place was never threatened with a fine display of strong finishing to hold off Brus and Gary Goodfellow (TLJT).

The 1,500m handicap was won in fine style by 11-year-old Teviotdale Harrier Fraser Clyne, who ran on very strongly from his 305m start. Gala Harriers’ Thomas Otton and Nathan Cox took up the minor placings.

z Up at Bridge of Allan, Borders athletes were also putting on a strong show in the field events, with the region producing placed finishers across the board.

The top prize of the day for the victor in the 90m handicap went to Craig Bruce from Selkirk, but only after the judges had to study a photo finish to separate him and Martha Douglas from Jed-Forest Athletics.

Borders athletes also won the two youths’ 90m events.

Brodie Cowan (Jed-Forest AC) won the 10-12 age group with Eve Huxley (Innerleithen) victorious in the older 13-15 category.

Cowan also took the 200m title and was named as Most Promising Youth at the event. Her Jedburgh team-mate Martha Douglas earned herself the title of Best Female.

Selkirk’s Iain Douglas took the honours in the 200m, while in the 3,200m, Derek Scott from Hawick led from flagfall to tape.

Bridge of Allan Highland Games. Selkirk winner.

Bridge of Allan Highland Games. Selkirk winner.