Hammer-thrower Mark Dry grabs a bronze medal at Hampden

HAMPDEN'Scotland's Mark Dry celebrates during the Men's hammer throw final Photograph: SNS
HAMPDEN'Scotland's Mark Dry celebrates during the Men's hammer throw final Photograph: SNS
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The third day of competition at Hampden Park duly delivered the first Scottish medal in track and field athletics of the 20th Commonwealth Games but it was Burghead hammer-thrower Mark Dry who mounted the podium, not middle-distance star Laura Muir, the Milnathort darling of the home fans.

Former Capital resident Dry, who might well have followed in the flightpath of his parents, who were RAF pilots, had he not been lured to athletics, captured a bronze medal with a second round throw of 71.64 metres.

That was well below his personal best of 74.80m but enough to hold off English rival and Delhi silver medallist Alex Smith for third in strangely low-key contest.

Another English thrower, Carlisle’s Nick Miller, took silver with a throw of 72.99m, though he was no match for the Canadian Jim Steacy, the 2006 silver medallist. His opening 74.16m was never threatened.

Dry, sixth in Delhi, became British No.1 while he lived in Edinburgh, when he was coached by the former Games bronze medallist and still Scottish record-holder Chris Black.

But he then moved south to the British Athletics high performance centre at Loughborough. “It’s a partial dream come true,” said Dry.

“But I really wanted to win here – I wish I’d thrown a bit further.”

Behind him the other two Scots fared less well. Capital thrower Andy Frost, fourth twice before, once for England in Melbourne 2006 and then for Scotland in Delhi, never found his balance or rhythm, opening with a tentative 62.21m, then hitting the cage for a foul before settling slightly to reach 66.63, which left him ninth.

Glasgow newcomer Chris Bennett was 12th with throws of 61.70m, 61.92m and a foul.

Muir, meanwhile, was suffering heartbreak in the 1500 metres final at almost the same time, finishing 14th in 4:14.21 in a sluggish race won surprisingly by the least well known of the three Kenyans, Faith Chepngetich Kibiegon, in 4:08.94, with favourite Hellen Obiri only sixth and England’s Hannah England seventh.

Yet Muir was well placed throughout and, fifth at the bell as the field bunched, the 21-year-old Glasgow University vet student was poised just outside close English rival Laura Weightman coming off the last bend for a final sprint.

But as Weightman moved out to make space Muir appeared to be barged and her heels then appeared to be caught by a pursuing runner, leaving her stumbling to keep her balance.

Gateshead’s Weightman went on to finish strongly for the silver medal with Canadian Kate Van Buskirk third and a demoralised Muir trailing in at the back of the field.

Muir is rooming with Scotland’s major medal hope Eilidh Child, who had earlier cruised through the first heat of the 400m hurdles to win in 55.56 secs, second fastest behind gold medal favourite Kaliese Spencer (Jamaica), who won the third heat less smoothly in 55.45.

“I think I’ll have to get under 54 seconds and PB on Thursday to win as Spencer has run nearly a second faster than me in the past,” said 27-year-old Pitreavie club member Child.

Also through to the 800m semi-finals later today is Lasswade’s Guy Learmonth, who faced a fearsome heat including Olympic champion and world record-holder David Rudisha but hung on for fourth in 1:47.85 and went through as a fastest loser.

Rudisha clocked 1:46.89, with England’s Michael Rimmer second (1:47.64) and Ricardo Cunningham (Jamaica) third (1:47.71).

Capital hope Lynsey Sharp (EAC) opens her bid in the 800m heats today and it will be interesting to see if Muir can shake off her disappointment and have another go in the shorter race.