Athletics: Hay stakes claim for place in Delhi games team

ALI HAY (Central) clocked his second Scottish Commonwealth Games qualifying time of the summer when he recorded 3:41.21 for the 1500 metres in the Flanders Cup meeting in Oordegem, Belgium.

The 23-year-old Livingston-based physiotherapist already has a time of 3:38.9 to his credit, well inside the 3:41.70 standard which must be attained twice.

Fifth in a close race just behind Great Britain international James Thie, who also made the Welsh qualifying standard, Hay was followed home in seventh place by former Scottish champion Darren Gauson (Edinburgh AC), who just missed out on a Delhi mark despite setting a personal best of 3:42.16.

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"I'm really looking forward to the Scottish Championships now," said Hay, who was one of the few members of the 20-strong Scots party to take advantage of the fast Mondo track and warm, still conditions.

Another was Cupar schoolgirl Sarah Kelly (Dundee Hawkhill), who set a World Junior Championship qualifying time of 2:04.29 in finishing fourth in the women's 800 metres. The posse of young Scots in the men's 800m all disappointed with Glasgow's Stuart Ross (1:49.98) outkicking Guy Learmonth (Lasswade), 1:50.93, with Mark Mitchell (Forres) back in third (1:52.73), more than three seconds outside his most recent time.

Elsewhere, Dunfermline-based Scottish champion Nick Smith could manage only 10.53sec in finishing second in the British League first division match a but did set the fastest time of the season by a Scot in winning the 200m in 21.08.

Edinburgh AC again finished sixth in the UK Women's League first division at Manchester on Saturday despite losing several athletes to the Belgium fixture.

Lynsey Sharp produced a season's fastest of 5.79sec in winning the B 400m in 55.79sec, while Laura Dunn had an excellent third in the 800m in a new best of 2:08.77.

World bobsleigh champion Gillian Cooke managed 5.51m in the long jump off a shortened run-up to grab valuable points in the B event and her former training partner Nony Mordi (Shaftesbury) went to the top of the Scottish triple jump rankings with a modest leap of 12.59m, more than a metre down on her own national record.

Match result: 1. Manchester 190; 2. Birchfield 18; 3. Trafford 168; 4. Windsor 165; 5. Essex 158; 6. Edinburgh 144; 7. Shaftesbury 138.5; 8. Bromley 102.5.

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