Stroke victim savours hammer title joy
A RETIRED athletics coach from Edinburgh has become a double world champion hammer thrower – in his first competition after suffering a stroke.
Bill Gentleman, 70, who famously discovered Scots legend Yvonne Murray and set her out on the track to running success, suffered the stroke in July 2008.
Medical experts felt it was unlikely he would throw the hammer again as it affected his balance.
He amazed everyone by not only representing Great Britain in the fourth World Masters Athletics Championships in Kamloops, Canada, last week, but winning two gold medals in the hammer and weight throwing events.
The retired biology teacher was so impressive in the age 70-plus events, he was also drafted in to the Great Britain 200-metre sprint relay team in the over-60 age group as Team GB finished sixth.
Mr Gentleman said: "The neurosurgeon and the stroke specialist felt I could make a good recovery, but having your balance for turning fast and throwing the hammer is a different thing.
"They were concerned I wouldn't throw again, so it's very satisfying to become champion."
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