Beagle Scott’s joy at Delhi relay gold

NEWHAM & ESSEX Beagles athlete Ryan Scott was one of England’s golden heroes as they beat Jamaica in a thrilling Commonwealth Games 4x100 metres sprint relay final.

The 23-year-old Bristol sprinter, who competes for the Beagles in the British Athletics League, ran the first leg for the squad at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi last Wednesday.

He passed the baton onto 200m champion Leon Baptiste, who fed Marlon Devonish and he handed over to 100m silver medallist Mark Lewis-Francis for the final leg.

Lewis Francis was trailing on the fourth leg, but in a spectacular finish he motored past Remaldo Rose in the final metres as his Jamaican rival appeared to stumble before the line.

England raced to victory in 38.74 secs, ahead of the Jamaicans by just 0.05 seconds, with India taking bronze.

Gold for the men’s teams completed an excellent day for the squad, after Katherine Endacott, Montell Douglas, Laura Turner and Abi Oyepitan clocked 44.19 to win women’s 4x100m gold ahead of Ghana and India.

“It was a real boost for us to watch the girls win and we’re happy we got the gold,” said Scott. “There is always pressure for us in the event to come up with gold and I’m so happy we did that.”

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This was Scott’s first senior international medal and follows his decision to re-locate to London and work with top sprints coach Tony Lester as he aims to make the Great Britain squad for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Scott was the third Beagle to claim honours in India, after Steve Lewis clinched silver in the pole vault ahead of club-mate Max Eaves who took the bronze.

The Beagles’ distance runners were in action on Saturday at the ERRA National 6 Stage Road Relay Championships at Sutton Park, in Birmingham.

The men’s team finished sixth (one hour, 46 minutes and 58 seconds) in the field of 79. Bedford And County AC raced to victory in 1:45:42, ahead of Shettleston Harriers (1:46:16), Tipton Harriers A (1:46:19), Belgrave Harriers (1:46:24) and Aldershot Farnham & District A (1:46:28).

Dave Mitchinson ran the first leg for the Beagles, clocking 17.37, leaving them in 11th position. James Shane followed, but his time of 17.59 failed to manoeuvre the team further up the pecking order.

Steve Hepples took over from Shane and he moved them up to 10th with a time of 17.55. Karin Stone pushed the team on as he moved up a gear to run 17.36 and propel the Beagles up to seventh.

Kevin Skinner maintained this position with 17.49 and Rory Chester managed to lead the team into the top six with a time of 18.02. This marks a disappointing start to the championship for the reigning champions.