Aug 142017

Central Athletic Club’s Andy Butchart insisted he belongs at global final level despite feeling a little frustrated by his performance at the men’s 5,000m final on Saturday at London 2017.

It was Mo Farah’s track swansong at the World Championships but he had to settle for silver as Ethiopian Muktar Edris won it in 13-32.79.

Butchart clocked 13-38.73 after making a surge to join Mo at the front with around 500m remaining but was caught by half a dozen rivals by the bell.

It was a second global final in a row for the Central AC athlete, who finished a fine sixth last year in Rio at his first Olympics.

“It is eighth in the world so it isn’t too bad a place to be,” said Butchart. “I’d rather have been placed higher but these guys are fast.

“I was sitting at the back just relaxing and then before you know it it’s down to four laps, three laps, and you think: ‘it’s not long to go now, and I’m at the back’. So I made it hard for myself but I’m on par with these guys – I’m meant to be in these races, so it’s not like I’m expected to come last. I’m expected to do well and I put a lot of pressure on myself.

“I moved up because it’s nice to be up there with Mo because the crowd really gets going. When you get to the front you get such a boost of energy from the crowd, and I needed that at the time.”

At Grangemouth Stadium on Sunday, Central Athletic Club Men’s Team competed at the final match of the Scottish Division One track and field season in excellent conditions. Once again a few gaps on the teamsheet made this a real contest for the team but, as always, the superb commitment from the athletes saw Central finish third on the day and retain second spot in the league, behind another championship winning performance from Aberdeen AAC.

The first track event, the 400m hurdles, saw an improved run from Aidan Thompson to finish in fourth ‘A’ spot with 66.10 seconds backed up by a first ‘B’ placing for David Lindsay (67.45 seconds). The 800m saw Dale Colley take the win in a tasty 1 minute 55.53 seconds while Fraser Logan reduced his personal best to 2-08.63 for fourth ‘B’ points. Michael Currie was close to his personal best, clocking 11.36 seconds for sixth ‘A’ place in the 100m while Cameron Smith was close to his season’s best with 11.77 seconds for seventh in the ‘B’ race. It was Aidan Thompson who stamped his quality on the 3,000m steeplechase winning with a fine 9 minute 27.65 seconds effort; while David Lindsay again put in a fine performance for second ‘B’ points with 10-43.48. Michael Currie produced a personal best run of 51.49 seconds in finishing sixth in a top class field in the ‘A’ 400m. Dale Colley (4-02.87) and Alastair Hay (4-02.97) raced to the line in the 1,500m well ahead of their rivals to rake in maximum points for the Club. The 200m series saw Cameron Smith take sixth ‘A’ place (23.84 seconds) while Kieran Halliday showed he is moving back into form with 24.84 seconds for seventh in the ‘B’ event. This match featured a 10,000m race with Michael Wright as Central’s sole representative. As anticipated, Michael showed his normal ‘can-do’ attitude as he raced to second ‘A’ placing in a big personal best of 32 minutes 17.07 seconds. Kai Ligertwood had a little difficulty finding his rhythm as raced to third in the ‘A’ 110m hurdles to record 22.05 seconds.

In the field it was good to see Tom Chandler (42.59m) and Kenny Pearson (31.56m) pick up fifth ‘A’ and ‘B’ places in the javelin. Tom went on to record 1.75m for sixth ‘A’ place in a top quality high jump competition. Ron Todd had another busy day recording 3.20m in the pole vault; 30.03m for the discus and 8.84m in the shot put as he raked in more useful points. Graham Porterfield won the shot put with a best of 11.42m then provided much needed points with a 28.20m discus and a 36.06m hammer throw. Peter Muirhead finished sixth in the long jump (6.34m) as he continues to get used to jumping off his left foot while Ross McCorgray again provide back-up with a personal best of 5.51m. Ross then went on to record 11.24m in the triple jump backed-up by Kai Ligertwood (10.25m) in his first competition in the event.

The 4 x 100m quartet of Michael Currie, Kieran Halliday, John Wilkie and Neil Casserly brought the baton home in a close-up seventh place to record 46.97 seconds. The 4 x 400m quartet of Michael Currie, Aidan Thompson, Tom Chandler and Dale Colley finished sixth with a season’s best of 3 minutes 30.09 seconds. The guest 100m saw Kieran Halliday record 12.13 seconds; Neil Casserly 12.40 seconds and John Wilkie 12.73 seconds while Neil (25.26 seconds) and John (26.79 seconds) also contested the guest 200m races.

As always there was great back-up from the club’s officials, this time through Stuart MacPherson, John Dickson and Tom McMenemy.

Points on the day were Aberdeen 375; Victoria Park Glasgow 293; Central 246; Kilbarchan 240; Pitreavie 202; Lasswade 200; Inverness 186 and Arbroath 117. Overall league points for the season were Aberdeen 32; Central 26; Victoria Park Glasgow 21; Inverness 19; Kilbarchan 18; Pitreavie 13; Lasswade 8 and Arbroath 6. So Lasswade and Arbroath are relegated while Shettleston Harriers and Falkirk Victoria Harriers are promoted from Division 2.

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