GLASGOW 2014 will be hammer thrower Andy Frost’s third Commonwealth Games appearance – and the fact it is being held just along the M8 from his Broxburn home is not the only bonus.
Next year’s event will be the first time he can share his experiences with his long-term partner and Scottish team-mate Susan McKelvie, also a hammer thrower.
Frost finished fourth at Melbourne in 2006 – when he represented England – and fourth again in Delhi four years later wearing the blue and white of Scotland. McKelvie, his partner for more than eight years after meeting her at a national camp, has not been so lucky, missing out on the Indian games by a matter of centimetres, but now they can go for gold together without one being left out of the reckoning.
“Susan has been unlucky in the last few years, missing out in 2006 and then 2010 by just centimetres,” said Frost, the current British champion who moved to Broxburn in 2005. “It makes a change because it’s always been hard in the past as I have been qualifying and Susan hasn’t, so we want each other to do really well this time around.
“The fourth in Melbourne I was really happy with, but the fourth in Delhi I know I could have thrown better, so I want to do more in Glasgow. It’s going to be tough as the competition is slightly higher from looking at the results around the other Commonwealth countries, but it’s definitely do-able. I think my best throw ranks me at around third at the moment, but I have beaten the number one (Mark Dry also of Scotland) and I think it’s 3-3 on head-to-heads this year.”
Having McKelvie by his side for next year’s Games will be even more of a comfort to Frost after suffering a torrid 18 months. That period included missing the Olympics last summer with a knee injury and then the passing of both his coach Alan Bertram MBE, and his own mother within weeks of one another. However, he remains upbeat and is determined to go at least one better at Hampden when the moment arrives.
He said: “I’ve definitely got back to where I wanted to be and have probably done better than I expected. You have to deal with these setbacks and just focus on Glasgow now. It’s been a pretty tough year with Alan passing away and then my mum as well at the start of June. They both would have been there watching, so I just want to do them proud.”
At four years Frost’s junior, Broxburn-born McKelvie admits it will be the icing on the cake to finally represent her country in front of a partisan crowd. Admitting she found it challenging to watch the Delhi event from the comfort of her own home, only tuning in to watch Frost throw in his event, she will now have the opportunity to experience the Games she has only ever dreamed of.
The 28-year-old primary PE teacher said: “I’ve not got the experience of going to major Games so if it was abroad, I think I would find it harder, but because it’s at home, I’m really excited and looking forward to it. I just felt the relief at getting picked a couple of weeks ago, but as I have been at school and all the kids are going bonkers and talking about it, I am starting to feel a wee bit more pressure now.
“This will be our third Games together, although I haven’t been at any myself. I am not going to put any limits on it as I never had a very good season with a few bereavements and having an injury in July, so to throw the qualifying distance was a big achievement in itself. I think Andy is relieved I’ve been selected this time so we’ve spoken about it a lot more and it’s great we are going to go through it together.”