Erin 1500m joy crowns Bahamas trip

Monday 24th July 2017

Erin Wallace took gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games as 11 track and field athletes joined Team Scotland in the Bahamas.

The Giffnock North AAC athlete set a superb PB in the 1500m final to take gold on the opening night of the athletics.

Wallace followed that up with sixth place in the 800m as she doubled-up on the middle distance events, while her Giffnock team-mate Alessandro Schenini took fourth in the long jump.

On a night where competition was delayed nearly an hour due to thunder and lightning, Erin kept her cool to deliver an astute tactical performance in an evenly-matched race.

Staying back in the pack as athletes jostled for position early on, Erin covered all the breaks and, as the bell sounded for the final lap, moved away from the rest of the field at the back of a group of four battling it out for the medals.

The stands were packed with Team Scotland’s travelling support and they roared Erin home to victory as she sprinted away in the final stages to win in 4.16.61 from Kenya’s Viola Chemutai.

‘When I crossed the line first, I just couldn’t believe it,’ said Erin, who won bronze at last year’s European Youth Championships in Georgia.

‘Standing on the top step of the podium and hearing everyone singing Flower of Scotland was just so special.

‘In the race, I was so shocked because after 800m the leaders were so far ahead and I thought I would never catch them, but with 300m to go I started to think I could probably do it.

‘I never expected to win. I knew everyone’s times were really close and I was expecting a fast race and it was just going to be a question of who could hold on the longest.’

Erin becomes the second Scottish women to win Youth Games gold in the 1500m, following in the footsteps of Morag MacLarty who won in Bendigo in 2004.

Alessandro Schenini in the long jump at the CYG

Schenini took fourth place in the long jump with a best of 6.87m. Edinburgh AC’s Calum Henderson unfortunately didn’t manage a legal jump.

Pitreavie AAC’s sprint hurder, Bethany McAndrew, finished seventh in her 100m Hurdles heat in 14.63 into a -1 wind and was close to her PB.

The 3000m races were extremely tough in high temperatures with Fife AC’s Adam Scott taking fifth in the men’s race in 9.04.69 while Aberdeen AAC’s Naomi Lang was 10th in 10.11.34. That was Adam’s second final after he had finished ninth in the 1500m in a time of 4.01.60.

In the 100m, Banchory Stonehaven’s Maddy Silcock was seventh in her semi-final in 12.75 while Giffnock North’s Adam Clayton was fourth in 10.98 but missed out on the final by one slot.

In the 400m, Falkirk Victoria’s Olivia Vareille was sixth in her 400m heat in a time of 57.22, which was her second fastest time for the distance.

Fraser Angus in action in the Bahamas

Fraser Angus of Kilmarnock Harriers made the 200m final after coming through the heats and the semi-finals.

And he finished seventh with a run of 21.92 in the final, improving on his time from the semi. There was an outdoor PB in there, too, for Fraser as he clocked 21.84 in the heat.

Lauren Greig of Glasgow School of Sport came through the heat and finished seventh in the 200m semi-final in 25.54 (-2.3 wind).

Scotland finished fourth in the Mixed 4 x 200m Relay event in the final athletics session of the CYG in the Bahamas, with the team clocking 1.36.35. The lineup for that race was Vareille, Schenini, McAndrew, Henderson.

With thanks to Allan Scott and Gillian Cooke in the Bahamas

Lauren Greig

Adam Clayton

Maddy Silcock


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