Two PBs but Gillespie’s season ends

Kieran Gillespie.
Kieran Gillespie.

Kieran Gillespie felt the highs and lows of athletics at the weekend - securing two personal bests but seeing his season end abruptly.

The Wragby competitor was in action at the Southern Counties Decathlon Championships in Oxford, where a recurring shin splints problem has now sidelined him for up up to three months.

It all started very well with the 100m and a time of 12.58 secs, his second-best ever.

However, the shin splints problem that has plagued his season was bothering him.

He managed a solid 4.77m in the long jump and an average 9.58m in the shot putt, but in the high jump he could hardly take off from the ground because of the pain in his shins, so only managed 1.50m, way below his personal best.

The final event of day one was the 400m and, unbelievably, he ran 56.92 secs, his third-best time ever, but paid the price because afterwards as he struggled to walk.

He was going to pull out of the competition, but a thorough dowsing in ice and plenty of ant-inflammatory tablets calmed the shins down for day two.

This started well with a personal best in the 110m high hurdles of 17.78 secs.

He followed that up with a discus throw of 29.85m, one of his best ever.

Gillespie only took one jump in the pole vault because of his sore shins, clearing 2.10m.

However, he competed through the by now considerable pain in the javelin for a massive personal best of 42.02m, an improvement by three metres, but he was now wrecked and sadly had to pull out of the final event, the 1,500m.

Coch and dad Jim Gillespie said: “I can’t believe he managed to secure two personal bests on the second day when you consider the pain he was in.

“He really showed some guts. I am immensely proud of him.

“This does mean though that his season is now over because if the inflammation in his shins gets any worse, it could tear the shin muscle off the bone, meaning a very long lay-off indeed.

“So he will now give it a rest for 8-12 weeks then look to get back into training for the long winter slog.”