Tindle: My heart told me that I had to run for Scotland
Having pledged his allegiance north of Border, the Under-20 athlete of the year now has a clear focus
AMERON TINDLE might have been born to two English parents and brought up and schooled south of the Border in Berwick, but he feels instinctively that he is Scottish. And, quite frankly, that’s all that matters.
The 18-year-old was, after all, born in Borders General Hospital in Melrose –the same facility that once brought rugby union royalty like Jim Telfer and Craig Chalmers into the world.
Having chosen Edinburgh AC, Tindle represented Scotland for the first time at the age of 16, picked up a Commonwealth Youth Games bronze medal in the 100m last year and hopes this year to move on up to the full Scotland Commonwealth team for the Gold Coast next April. While Scotland was unable to provide a single 100m or 200m sprinter, male or female, for Glasgow 2014, Tindle’s current personal best for the 200m of 20.71secs is already just one hundredth of a second outwith the qualifying standard for the games.
“I was born in Melrose, in the Borders General Hospital, so I am Scottish. But I could have competed for England as my parents are English and I qualify on residency grounds too,” said Tindle.
Scotland’s Under-20 athlete of the year is feeling more Scottish than ever now he has declined the chance to depart for the States and enrolled as a student at the University of Stirling. “I think my heart just told me,” he said: “I don’t think I could have competed for anyone else.
“I went to school in England, so I did English schools,” he added. “That always confuses people. But I am quite proud to be Scottish, so I was always going to choose Scotland. I never had any paperwork saying ‘Cameron, would you like to compete for England’ but I guess it was always a possibility. My parents [Paul and Eleanor] are more than happy for me to be running for Scotland – my dad’s mum’s side are all Scottish, he is the only English one.”
Tindle has made such startling strides in the sport already that perhaps it is only natural if it seems he is standing still these days if he loses a race or two.
While the teenager is already running faster than the likes of Elliot Bunney – whose European indoor junior title he would dearly love to emulate in Grosseto, Italy this July – Ian Mackie and Dougie Walker, he goes into today’s Scottish Senior Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow keen to get back on track after a somewhat underwhelming start to the season.
Attempting to build power in the early stages of his 200m by focusing on the 60m, he was beaten by 0.13secs by Allan Hamilton, at the Scottish National Open just a fortnight ago.
It isn’t exactly revenge he is after today, just a better personal performance. Having only recently started weight training on his slight frame, he and his coaches Henry Gray and Bruce Scott know time is on his side.
“I don’t get too hung up on who I am racing,” said Tindle. “At this time of the year it is always about racing against myself and racing against the clock. But our aim is to get faster over the first 60m to help my 200s. Because that is the thing that is really holding my 200s back.
“But it [2nd place in the National Open] wasn’t what I wanted really,” Tindle admitted. “It was disappointing because I have been going pretty well in training over the shorter distances. But I didn’t get a great start and my whole race was ruined after that.
“I know that 60m is Allan’s distance but I wasn’t expecting him to get away like that and I panicked a wee bit. It is a rookie mistake which I don’t normally do.
“The World Championships in London aren’t really on my horizon. My two main goals for this year are getting qualification for the Gold Coast and getting a medal at European Juniors. Last year I was the secondfastest in Europe for my age and the guy who was top is now too old.”
As for Commonwealth Games
IN THE FAST LANE: Having been hailed as the next big thing of Scottish sprinting, Tindle is eager to get his running back on track.