Borders runner Scott Tindle delighted to keep sprint success in the family at Musselburgh
The 21-year-old, from Berwick but a member of the region’s Tweed Leader Jed Track club, was following in his elder brother Cameron’s footsteps, his 24-year-old sibling having won the 110m handicap race at the same venue back in 2015, and his success at the weekend made them only the second pair of brothers ever to pull off that winning double in 154 stagings of the run and the first this century.
The younger Tindle’s victory in East Lothian, earning him the sprint’s £3,500 top prize, follows a second-place finish at 2022’s event at Edinburgh’s Meadowbank Sports Centre in July just a fraction of a second behind West Linton’s Stacey Downie.
Downie, running for Edinburgh Athletic Club, clocked 11.15 seconds that time round, from a mark of 17m, with Tindle, handicapped at 9m, on 11.18, so he’s delighted, having got that close previously, to have come up trumps this time round.
Tindle was fastest loser in Friday’s qualifying heats on 11.36 and clocked the quickest time, 12 seconds exactly, in Sunday’s cross-ties, a time he almost matched in the main event with 12.03 from a mark of 6.5m.
Runner-up Gkontouin Imante, of Glasgow’s Shettleston Harriers, was only a whisker behind him, on 12.04, after starting 3.5m further back.
Tindle, a delivery driver by day, was one of only two Borders runners to make the final, his TLJT clubmate Gordon Armstrong finishing seventh out of eight in 12.58, from a mark of 9m.
Fellow TLJT member Iskan Barskanmay went out at the cross-tie stage, along with Hawick’s Ryan McMichan.
Downie, 35, didn’t make it beyond the heats this time round, like TLJT’s Evie Renwick, Rojin Barskanmay and Caris Brus; Jedburgh’s Callum Murrow and Scott Elliot; Kelso’s Douglas Young; and Gala Harrier Robert Noble.
Tindle had to recover from a slip early on to make it over the line first and was glad to see a photo finish, with 16-year-old Imante, go his way on this occasion, saying: “The ground was that soft that for my first three or four steps, there was just no grip. My feet were just coming away off the ground. I was just sliding really.
“I’m used to racing on grass, though, so I knew how to recover quickly. It was almost like I had to accelerate again after slipping.
“It was close at the end but I managed hold on.
“It was almost as close as it was when I finished second in the summer, but luckily I came out on the right side this time.
“It was an amazing moment because I was so close last time.”
6ft 3in-tall Tindle, coached by Bruce Scott, is also chuffed to have picked up a prestigious prize within a few years of switching from long-distance runs to ones these days of 200m or less.
“It’s great to have won something like this in such a short space of time trying,” he said.
“I used to be an 800m runner and I always believed I could be a sprinter but I got told I was too tall or too skinny and that I’d never make it.
“I’ve just worked as hard as I can for the past three or four years, so to get this achievement so early in my sprinting career is really good.”
Asked how he intends to spend his prize money, Tindle, a regular on the Border Games and Highland Games circuits over the summer, said: “I’m in desperate need of a new car because of how much I travel, especially in summer to compete in the Highland Games and at Border Games.
“It’s quite far for me and the car I have at the minute isn’t really good for long journeys.”
The only brothers other than the Tindles to keep new year sprint wins in the family were Joselyn and Josephus Thomas in 1999 and 1997 respectively, both representing London’s Woodford Green Athletic Club.