Magic moment – George Evans savours World Youths bronze
George Evans is heading back to Scotland with a World Youths bronze medal as part of his luggage following fine throwing in Colombia.
The Inverness Harriers athlete took third place in the discus with two other Scots – Carys McAulay and Cameron Tindle – reaching finals in their events in Cali.
Ben Greenwood was the other member of our contingent in the GB squad and the Perth Strathtay athlete came through the first round of the 800m heats before losing out in the semi-finals.
For Evans, bronze was the culmination of a lot of hard work which began some five years ago at inverness where he was coached by Duncan Flockhart.
Now guided by Colin McCulloch and training at Pitreavie following a school switch, his second round throw of 60.22m was enough to make the podium.
George produced one of the best performances of his fledgling career to secure the Britain’s third bronze medal at the time – but it was nerve-wracking. He sat in third position with three rounds of throws left and after much nail-biting, he held on for a stunning medal triumph. The gold was won by South Africa’s Werner Visser in 64.24m with China’s Yuhan Wang picking up silver in 60.33m.
‘It’s a new experience for me,’ said George.
‘I knew what I had to do, try to relax, forgot about the last throw and focus on the next. I was only a metre off my PB so I’m delighted. I have thrown further before so I maybe thought there was a possibility of getting a medal because anything can happen on the day. One of the best competitors in the field (Sweden’s Wictor Petersson) fouled on his first three throws . . . so you never know.
‘It got to the final round and I went into the cage knowing I had guaranteed a medal which was an amazing feeling.
‘It was the first time I have ever thrown in a stadium like this and it was probably the best experience of my life so far – absolutely fantastic. I’ve come out in the end with a bronze medal so I am very happy, the performance couldn’t be better.’
Carys McAulay – PB in final
McAulay did really well to come through a heat and a semi-final of the 800m and then came up with a PB of 2.05.31 for fourth in the final, as five of the eight athletes set PBs.
After coming into the home straight in sixth place, the Scot battled hard to out-dip the Ethiopian Foziya Niguse for another high placing by the Brits in the middle-distance events.
It was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be but I just tried to give everything I had at the end,’ said Carys, who is coached by Philip Hicken.
‘I got what I wanted – which was top five – so I’m very pleased. Those girls were amazing in that race.’
Tindle, who is coached by Hendry Gray and Bruce Scott and like Evans is a National Academy athlete, was in lane one for the 200m final and recorded 21.13. Japan’s Abdul Hakim Sani Brown won in Championship record of 20.34 to add to his 100m title.
It was Cameron’s third race in the champs with the Berwick youngster never having been on a flight before prior to the trip to Colombia.
‘I’m disappointed with myself – I got into the blocks and as soon as I set off, my legs weren’t turning over like they had been all week,’ he said.
‘However, there are a lot of things I can learn from my first championships. It’s been a big learning curve – being away with the team has been a good experience. All the team staff have been great; getting us ready and in prime positon to compete. All the team-mates have helped us all along every step of the way. So the whole experience has been great.’
Greenwood had the excitement of being named GB captain for Cali last midweek and then ran well in the heat but was far from at his best in the semi-final.
‘It wasn’t my best and I think the nerves got to me there,’ said Ben, whose coach is Catriona Tavendale.
‘I’m disappointed really because I wanted to make the final. It’s been a really good experience as I’m not used to performing on the big stages and it’s been a big leap up but I’ll learn from this.”
Ben Greenwood, George Evans and Cameron Tindle – when selected from Commonwealth Youth Games
All four Scots who competed in Colombia will be off on their travels again in a month or so for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa. they will be joined by Alisha Rees and Rachel Alexander.
With thanks to Gareth Burrell of British Athletics for assistance with comments from Scottish athletes.