Memory Lane: Tom McKean recalls his 1993 World Indoors triumph

Tuesday 20th February 2024

Tom McKean wins gold at the 1993 World Indoors in Canada (photo by Mark Shearman)

Track Tardis: Yvonne Murray looks back to 1993 and forward to World Indoors 2024

Tom McKean went to the World Indoors late in his career and won gold.

And the story of how he almost missed the medal ceremony in Toronto’s Skydome never grows old.

A superb performance of front-running – watch and savour it on YouTube below – claimed 1993 World Indoors glory and was the crowning moment in the Motherwell athlete’s career.

Tom was more than happy to take a run down Memory Lane recently when he helped open the museum of World Athletics at the St Enoch centre in Glasgow as the World Indoors comes to town.

‘I still have the gold medals from Glasgow (1990 European Indoors) and from Toronto and they mean a lot to me,’ he recalled.

‘The question I am always asked about the World indoors is about the medal ceremony because I almost missed it!

‘What happened was they had told us it would be 5.30pm for the Men’s 800m podium. Then they brought it forward by 30 minutes.

‘At 5pm I was in the media area using a journalist’s phone (Doug Gillon of The Herald) to call home to my mum. Doug was jumping about and hauling me off the call to get down the stairs to receive my medal.

‘I ran down the stairs. The Officials were walking away but the athletes had stayed on the podium and I jumped up to join them. And the crowd gave me a brilliant reception there and then.

‘I enjoyed and they still had the national anthem so it was fine, really.’

Commentator David Coleman was fulsome in his praise of McKean – and it was quite a champs for Scots with the GB and NI team.

Tom recalled: ‘Tactically I ran really well. It was three races and each of them went off perfectly.

‘Opponents were getting bumped and barged behind me in the final but I was clear out in front and out of trouble that way. I went to the front and stayed there.

‘It was gold for GB of course but I also felt it was for Scotland. Yvonne Murray won gold in the Women’s 3000m and David Strang took silver in the 1500m.

‘So, at one point, it was if Scotland was third in the medal table at the World Indoors – we had two golds and a silver.

‘We are such a small nation so that was a great moment and a great championships.’

Anything along those lines at the World Indoors would be warmly welcomed by a Scottish crowd at the Emirates Arena. Out of this world, even.

Photo by Mark Gibson


Tags: Canada, Glasgow, Tom McKean, World Indoors 1993, World Indoors 2024

Expand Social Feeds