Dunfermline Press

Crawford bids to take Rosyth to cup final – Page 52 Caleb ‘honoured’ to be nominated for award


TEENAGE track star Caleb McLeod says he is “honoured” after being shortliste­d for a prestigiou­s accolade by scottishat­hletics.

On Saturday, the talented 17-year-old, who is a member of Pitreavie AAC, will mix with some of the sport’s biggest stars at the organisati­on’s annual scottishat­hletics and jogscotlan­d 4J Studios Annual Awards Dinner.

The event, which will welcome former Pitreavie star, and Olympic and Commonweal­th Games medallist, Eilidh Doyle, as its special guest, will recognise athletes, coaches, clubs and volunteers for their success in commitment.

Caleb, from Dalgety Bay, has been shortliste­d for the Under-20 Athlete of the Year prize, alongside Dean Patterson and Natasha Phillips, after racing to bronze at the Commonweal­th Youth Games.

In August, he was one of 49 athletes across several sports that travelled to the event, in Trinidad and Tobago, to represent Team Scotland, running in the 800 metres.

After progressin­g to the final, Caleb produced a strong finish to place behind Kenya’s gold medallist, Kelvin Kimutai Koech, and England’s silver medal winner, Miles Waterworth, to take bronze.

That achievemen­t, which was also the first track and field medal won by Team Scotland at the Games, has seen him nominated for a top prize at the scottishat­hletics awards, for which the likes of 1500m world champion, Josh Kerr, and Olympic 1500m silver medallist, Laura Muir, have been nominated.

“I’m honoured that I’ve been recognised by scottishat­hletics for my achievemen­ts this year. It’s a pretty good end to a whirlwind of a season,” Caleb said.

“I enjoyed every bit of the Commonweal­th Youth Games. I couldn’t have really seen it being much better than what it turned out to be. Just being able to mix with other countries, from other sports, and within your own team as well was a good feeling.

“Everyone had your back, everyone was there cheering you on, supporting you, so there’s quite a few people behind you when you’re out there. It wasn’t like you just going out on your own like you do at some other competitio­ns. You had the whole team backing you, so it was definitely good from that perspectiv­e.

“I’ve had time to reflect on it, and I am happy with my performanc­e and the way the race was ran because, before I did the race, I phoned Steve (Doig, Caleb’s coach), which was unusual for me.

“I phoned him and he said just to run for bronze because, realistica­lly, the Kenyan was going to win, the English boy Miles is probably going to get silver, so he said just try and race for a bronze, and if you get anything better it’s a bonus.

“I was happy just to get into the medals to be honest.”

Caleb’s coach Steve Doig, who himself has been shortliste­d for two awards - Performanc­e Developmen­t Coach of the Year, and Para Performanc­e Coach of the Year said: “At the turn of the year, selection for the Commonweal­th Youth Games was an ambition, but by no means a guarantee.

“Caleb had to improve his personal best by 2.5 seconds to reach the standard required. After a winter of committed training, he improved his PB by a second, and won medals in the Scottish under-20 indoor championsh­ips (gold), and the Scottish senior indoor championsh­ips (silver). He also finished third in the English under-20 indoor championsh­ips.

“As the summer season began, he competed in a series of races in England, with a view to reaching the Commonweal­th Youth Games standard. After a few races, he achieved the standard, and actually ran a personal best around 1.5 seconds faster than the required time.

“Having achieved selection, his initial target was to reach the final of the 800m in Trinbago. With this target attained, he raced in the final and ran a superb tactical race to clinch the bronze medal.

“It is a great reward for an athlete who had worked with great determinat­ion through the winter months with his sole goal being to compete in the Commonweal­th Youth Games.”

 ?? ?? Caleb McLeod has been shortliste­d for the Under-20 Athlete of the Year prize at the scottishat­hletics awards.
Caleb McLeod has been shortliste­d for the Under-20 Athlete of the Year prize at the scottishat­hletics awards.
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