IT was 90 years – to the day – since Eric Liddell won gold at the 1924 Olympics and Scottish athletes didn’t disappoint on that very special anniversary at Hampden.
Eilidh Child claimed a fine win in the women’s 400m Hurdles with a 54.39 run which was only 17 hundredths shy of her Scottish record.
And Para athlete, Stef Reid, came up with a F44 long jump world record at 5.47m – which landed her the not inconsiderable bonus of $15,000 from the Sainsbury Grand Prix organisers.
There were also Scottish Native Records – by a Scot competing in Scotland – for David Smith in the high jump at 2.22m and Jax Thoirs in the pole vault at 5.35m.
Eilidh’s 400m H field featured three athletes with better PBs on paper but she out-stripped them all with a performance that was ‘my best technically so far this season’ and she punched the air in delight as she crossed the line in the Hampden sun.
‘This has just make me even more determined for the Commonwealth Games,’ said Eilidh, her run a new Scottish Native Record bettering a mark by Sinead Dudgeon at Scotstoun of 56.48 in 1999.
‘The stadium wasn’t anything like full but the noise was amazing. I was running down the back street and the crowd pulled me along. I am sure I heard this nervous, deep voice shouting ‘Go Eilidh’ and I’m sure that was my dad (Ronnie).
‘My niece is here with the family but I don’t think that was here! Seriously, Hampden was great and, for hurdles, we like it when there is not too much wind.
‘The warm-up track was quite windy but it was calm in the stadium and I am pleased with the way it went technically – I’ve executed it the way I wanted.
‘It was a good calibre race, with some Americans, and that’s why I am taking on the Diamond League races this season. It is making me feel more comfortable at that level.’
Stef Reid made a dramatic first impression on the meeting. In her opening attempt in the F44 long jump, she leapt to 5.47m – and a new World Record.
Stef herself had reached 5.45 earlier this season in a jump that had been awaiting ratification as a World Record but she surpassed that distance at Hampden and had the added bonus of picking up a cheque for $15,000 dollars for her efforts.
‘It is awesome – I landed the jump in the first round so at that point I just wanted to roll around in the sand and celebrate,’ said Stef.
‘I had to be prepared to respond to anything which (Marie-Amelie) Le Fur did later in the competition. I am going to enjoy this for now but get straight back to work afterwards.
‘I’m in such a better place this year – I’m more settled in everything that I do. It has been a huge benefit having such an elite group to train in. Raina (Reider) demands confidence and I am really glad he has brought that out of me.’
Jax Thoirs cleared 5.35 in the pole vault for the Glaswegian to finish fourth in the pole vault while David Smith was at 2.22 in the high jump for fifth with Allan Smith at 2.15.
All the before a dramatic 100m won in a Scottish All-Comers record by a Jamaican in 9.97. But it was Nickel Ashmeade who won it from American Mike Rodgers – as Yohan Blake fell to the track around the 70m mark injured.
*It was a thrilling night at Hampden for four young Scottish athletes in the women’s 4 x 100m as the team finished seventh with Kathryn Christie on the last leg following on from three teenagers – Jenna Wrisberg, Selina Henderson and Alisha Rees.
The girls clocked 46.55 and (believe the Scottish U20 women’s record is 46.27).
‘It was just so nerve-wracking but also so exciting. Our time? Not bad at all for a team with two 16-year-olds and a 15-year-old,’ said Jenna.
‘We’ve had about four sessions together so hopefully this is the start and we can keep working on things like the change-overs,’ said Selina.
‘We got the biggest roar from the crowd before and after and it was a great experience to run at Hampden – fantastic,’ said Alisha.
‘I was last leg so I had to wait a long time there for the baton to come round and you are just itching to get running. But it was a great experience for us as a team and we’re just taking the first steps of a learning curve for us as a team.’
HAMPDEN PHOTOS BY BOBBY GAVIN