Hammer throwers eye Scottish record

23 April 2012 / 14:41

Scottish hammer throwers will have to break the national record to stay in contention for an Olympic place.

Chris Black, who went to the Olympics in 1976 and 1980, currently holds the record at 75.40 metres. London 2012 hopeful Mark Dry went close to that last weekend at a meeting in Walnut, California, while Andy Frost's first throw of the season in Hull was also a decent effort.

But with British rival Alex Smith having thrown 75.63m already this season and only one hammer thrower likely to be called up - if nobody reaches the 'A' qualifying standard of 78m - then the Scottish record has to be the clear target for Dry and Frost.

Dry's throw was the latest fine performance by a member of the 41-strong scottishathletics Commonwealth Games Squad in the United States.

Long jumper Jade Nimmo broke the Scottish record at the Hilltoppers Relays in Kentucky the week before and then middle distance runner Dave Bishop ran a personal best of three minutes 40.79 seconds for 1500m at the same event as Dry's throw.

Bishop, who just failed to take the scalp of Andy Baddeley, is now 15th on the Scottish all-time list. And another American-based student, Lennie Waite, went second on the Scottish all-time list for the women's 3000m steeplechase earlier this month.

"Mark Dry is getting closer to Chris Black's all-time Scottish record and it is only just over one metre away now," said Darren Ritchie, of the scottishathletics coaching staff.

"Throwing over 74 metres gives him the Olympic qualifying 'B' standard for Team GB but one of his rivals, Alex Smith, has already thrown beyond 75 metres. If nobody makes the 'A' standard then it could come down to the Olympic trials in Birmingham in June or a head-to-head record between the relevant athletes.

"Andy Frost, another Scottish athlete, is desperate to be in contention as well, and a first throw of the season of 71.36m in Hull on Sunday was a good effort."

Caithness-raised Dry, speaking from America after the Mt Sac Relays event in California, said: "It was a life-time best throw for me and the first time I've made the Olympic 'B' standard. I am very happy with the way things are going right at this moment but there's plenty of time left and a lot of good throwers out there."