Glyn Desport’s decison to pull on his spikes again after an eight-year hiatus paid off in fine style at St Ronan’s Games on Saturday.
Having made his mark on the open athletics scene as a youth as well as showing great potential when graduating into the senior ranks, Desport decided to concentrate on his rugby, and duly established himself in the oval ball game as an ace player with Hawick YM.
This summer, however, Desport has had a change of heart, and for the past few weeks has been turning out at meetings on the games circuit.
And at a rainswept St Ronan’s Games on Saturday, 28-year-old Desport showed he was back with avenge-ance.
And instead of scoring tries for the YM, Desport made another type of touchdown in crossing the line when winning the 200m handicap.
Competing from a mark of 28m, Desport showed he had something special to offer in his heat when storming through the tape in 20.70 seconds. This being the fastest time of the opening runs.
In what turned out to be a keenly-contested final, Mhairi Henderson of TLJT (54m) headed the field down the home straight.
Coming off the last bend, Desport seemed to have a lot to do. However, showing strength and power in every stride, the Teri athlete began to eat up the track and soared to a fine victory in 22.66 seconds.
Following his very impressive win, Desport told the Hawick News: “I gave up rugby this season to concentrate on athletics and I’ve been training hard throughout the winter.
“As I now stay in Edinburgh I joined the Edinburgh Graeme Armstrong school, of which David Lauder, who also comes from Hawick, is a member. It’s a great school and we really train hard.
“Because it was my first season back running at the games, I wasn’t expecting to do anything. So it’s came as a bit of a surprise that I won the 200m today as I didn’t even I would reach a final never mind win one.
“It was hard going, though, but everything just seemed to go right for me and it’s just great to have got a win”.
Hawick may not have produced a winner in the youths’ events but it certainly wasn’t for the want of trying.
Cian Riddell (26m) and Max Hope (28m) both reached the final of the youths’ 90m ‘B’ race handicap through excellent heat wins.
The final turned out to be a real thriller, victory going the way of Jake Houten of Cardrona (10m) who clocked up a winning time of 9.62 seconds.Hope emerged a very close second.
Nine-year-old Hope also reached the final of the youths’ 200m ‘B’ race handicap.
Showing the great commitment and flair that has been his trademark throughout the season, buzz-bomb Hope (60m) this time gained third place when coming in behind Max Johnstone of Jedburgh (64m) and Sarah Davenport of TLJT (53m). The winning time was 22.56 seconds.
Like another Hawick youngster Keeley Womack, Hope is on the brink of notching a win which would be well deserved.
Talking of matters Hope said: “It’s my first season and I’m really enjoying running at the games. I like the 200m races the best but the 90 metres are good fun as well.
I’ve been in seven finals and haven’t won one yet but I’m going to keep on trying”.
In the main event on the Victoria Park card – the 110m handicap – David Lauder (13.5m) soared to victory in his heat in 11.91 seconds. Fellow Hawick sprinter Drew Bryson (23m) appeared a certainty to win his heat until pulling up short of the tape with a leg injury.
Bryson limped over the line to gain second place and it was later announced that the Hawick veteran had qualified for the cross-ties as a fastest loser. The unfortunate Bryson, however, had to withdraw from the event due to his injury.
Lauder then went onto reach the final as a fastest loser in the three cross-tie outings.
Selkirk’s Geoff Keen (13m) emerged victorious in the final in a time of 11.48 sec- onds.
Although running extremely well, Stewart Fraser (60m) had to be content with second place in the 800 metres handicap. Clocking a time of one minute 50.20 seconds, Kobe Stevens of Moorfoot (80m) was the winner.