Scots Commonwealth Games team back down to earth

AMID swirling winds and driving rain, the Scottish Championships in Kilmarnock must have seemed a world apart from the glitz and glamour of the Commonwealth Games for the handful of Team Scotland holdovers who were pressed back into domestic duty yesterday following their stint in the spotlight of Glasgow 2014.
Clothes encounter: Chris OHareClothes encounter: Chris OHare
Clothes encounter: Chris OHare

Signs of legacy, within the impending storm, were hard to spot. Spectating, for the hardy few, was not an attractive means to spend a Saturday afternoon with more gathered around the television screens at the Ayrshire Arena to watch events unfold in Zurich than could be found in what passes for a grandstand.

If it was back down to earth with a bump, then Susan 
McKelvie displayed no airs and graces. In what has become a habitual four-way scrap in the women’s hammer, the 29-year-old ­surpassed her Hampden performance with a throw of 64.21 metres to stay ahead of the challenging Rachel Hunter, Kimberley Reed and Myra Perkins.

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“I really wanted to win it again,” she said. “I remembered 54.60m was Shirley Webb’s championships record and I felt that was possible. I’ll have to come back next year and get it. But I was the top Scot at the British Championships, top Scot at the Commonwealth Games and so I really wanted the hat-trick here.”

Her competitive instincts were stirred. Pity her Commonwealth team-mate Gus McInroy who regained his discus title by default after finding himself the last, and only, man standing. That he threw 50.74m on his third attempt when one centimetre would have sufficed was admirable.

Others from Scotland’s Commonwealth team were tested a little more. Rachael Mackenzie delivered a fine clearance of 1.75m to win the high jump when conditions were at their worst. “I won the indoor title for 2014 so it is great to make it a double,” the Inverness Harrier said. “I am very pleased with 1.75 in that wind and rain, I’ve surprised myself. It is difficult between jumps and there’s a chance you rush things. I’d one attempt at 1.80 which wasn’t too bad but there was no need to carry on.”

Kathryn Christie will get a shot at replicating the sprint double she last achieved in 2012 this afternoon after taking the 100m in 12.04 seconds. Some have suggested the future of the Aberdonian, still 19, lies over one lap where her raw speed might prove advantageous yet she remains undecided over the idea.

Emily Dudgeon and Katy Brown set up what could be an intriguing clash in today’s 800m final by progressing through their heats while Sunday’s slate will see Commonwealth bronze medallist Mark Dry bid to defend his men’s hammer title from rivals Andy Frost and Chris Bennett.

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