Borderer Samantha Kinghorn named as Scottish para athlete of year
The 27-year-old wheelchair racer was announced as winner of that accolade at the governing body’s annual awards dinner in Glasgow on Saturday, her four medals, one gold and three silver, at the World Para Athletics Championships in France in July having swayed the selection panel.
Her gold was for the T53 100m race and her solo silvers for 800m and 400m, plus a universal relay team medal.
Gordon’s Kinghorn, in action in the Jed Renilson wheelchair race near Jedburgh on Sunday, wasn’t able to attend Saturday’s ceremony but told of her gratitude for that recognition in an interview for Scottish Athletics’ website, saying: “It is always a nice feeling to realise via an award like this that people have been pleased to see you do well. You don’t always appreciate that at a championship.
“You almost forget that people are watching and you just do it for you and then you step back and you win awards and you think ‘oh gosh, people are watching and people are also pleased for how I’m doing,’ and it’s a really nice feeling.”
Looking back at her four-medal haul in Paris, she said: “I had worked really, really hard but I didn’t know I had that in me.
“Winning that gold in the 100m was just as much of a shock to me as it was to anyone else. I was quite calm, I knew what I needed to do, I’d practised all year and I just did what I do every day and it was very, very natural.
“It was one of those races that when I look back, it’s nice to watch because I executed every section of it really well. That’s obviously how I won it but it doesn’t often happen like that in races even though you practise all the time.
“It was just one of those race where I managed to execute things perfectly and I was able to go out and win it, which was amazing.”
Kinghorn is now targeting further success at next summer’s Paralympics in Paris, saying: “I’m really looking forward to it. I’m super-excited.
“I won my first Paralympic medal in front of nobody and that was extremely difficult, so I’m hoping next time I might be able to win another Paralympic medal and I’ll have my friends and family there.”
Kinghorn was one of two Borderers to pick up prizes, with the Martin Hyman junior hill-running award going to Gala Harrier Isla Paterson.