Athletics: Gillespie smashes Irish national record

Jim Gillespie shows off his silver medal.
Jim Gillespie shows off his silver medal.
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Wragby field athlete Jim Gillespie made a satisfying start to the winter season at Swindon last week.

Saturday’s meeting in Wiltshire signalled the beginning of the winter throws season, and winter it was, with a hard frost at the track and snow on the surrounding hills.

Gillespie was taking part in a heavy throws triathlon comprising the hammer, shot and heavyweight hammer.

The event holds happy memories having set a new Irish record in this event with 1,205 points in 2015.

He started with a pleasing 23.61m hammer throw before sending the shot out to a distance of 8.24m which kept him in with a chance of breaking his record.

But the final event, the heavy hammer, provided the coup de grace, smashing his own Irish record for the discipline with 10.18m an improvement on his previous best mark of 26cm.

The distance also gave Gillespie enough points to obliterate his triathlon record by more than 50 points with a final total of 1,258 points.

“This is a fantastic start to the winter,” he said. “And with quite a few months of slog ahead of me yet, it’s great for the motivation.”