Euro hammer gold for Wragby’s Jim

Jim Gillespie.
Jim Gillespie.

Jim Gillespie struck gold at the European Hammer Decathlon championships.

The Wragby throws expert came out on top following a gruelling challenge in Derby on Saturday.

Gillespie, who represents Ireland, took part in the male 55-59 years category.

“I am blown away with it, especially as Ireland haven’t won this title since 2004,” he said.

“But I still feel there is more to come.

“So after a few days’ rest I’ll be back on it in preparation for the winter throws competitions coming up.”

The hammer decathlon comprises 10 hammers of different weights, starting with the lightest of 4 kilos and moving up to the heaviest, which is 25.4 kilos.

Each hammer is thrown one after the other with no rest in between, so it is also a major test of endurance.

The day started brilliantly for Gillespie, who threw a massive personal best of 30.73m in the in the 4k, putting him in second place.

Poor performances followed in the 5k and 6k, but he recovered in the 7.26k with a reasonable 20.94m.

Gillespie smashed his 9k personal best with an effort of 18.65m which put him into the lead for the first time.

As the hammers got heavier he tightened his grip on the title.

The 10k saw Gillespie throw his second best-ever effort of 11.75m, while 9.44m was recorded in the 12.5k, another of his better efforts.

The eighth event is the 15.88k hammer where a lifetime best of 7.49m came just at the right time.

The 19.08k hammer was recorded at 4.44m and the final event saw Gillespie throw 3.65m.