Athletics: Holligan gets off to a flying start with sprint double

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Commonwealth Youth Games 200 metres gold medallist Tom Holligan (Edinburgh AC) surprised even himself with a speedy sprint double at the Lothian club trials at Meadowbank Stadium.

Holligan, who took the 200m title in the Isle of Man last September, won the 100 metres yesterday in 10.82 secs and the 200 in 21.56,.

“I’m surprised as I haven’t really done any speed work,” said Holligan, who was 18 last month and is in sixth year at Firrhill High in the Capital.

His coach Keith Ridley pointed out that he had introduced more speed sessions into Holligan’s winter training this year: “That’s only 0.1 sec outside his best legal 200m time (21.46) and he had to run into the wind on the bend.”

Another junior, Jay Younger (EAC), who is coached by Bill Walker, impressed in winning the 400m in 49:57.

Former World bobsleigh champion Gillian Cooke (EAC) won the women’s 100m in 12.3 secs in her first race for four years. The former Scottish long jump champion who quit athletics to concentrate on winter sport beat Scottish champion Stacey Downie (EAC) by two metres, though Downie reported she had injured her foot.

“I just wanted to make the team for the first Scottish League team at the end of this month – I hadn’t been off the blocks for four years,” said Cooke, who will continue to work on her bobsleigh career in tandem with athletics.

Kimberley Reed (EAC), who took the Commonwealth Youth Games silver medal in the hammer in the Isle of Man, won with a relatively modest effort of 51.10m.