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Awesome quartet: How four Scottish men claimed TEN major medals

Awesome quartet: How four Scottish men claimed TEN major medals

Monday 6th March 2023

Mark Shearman’s signature photo from the British Champs in 2017 captures a Scottish 1-2-3-4 in the Men’s 1500m

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By Peter Jardine, Head of Communications

It’s competition time (not really, but bear with us)!

Using your skill and judgement, study the photo above from the Men’s 1500m final at the British Championships in Birmingham in the summer of 2017.

Can you name the four Scottish athletes and their clubs? And, for a supplementary, can you list the number of major international medals these athletes have won individually and, thus, collectively?

So, certainly easy enough on the four athletes and the names across their numbers are something of a giveaway! From left to right; it’s Josh Kerr (Edinburgh AC), Jake Wightman (Edinburgh AC), Neil Gourley (Giffnock North AC) and Chris O’Hare (Edinburgh AC).

But did you know the medal tallies?

Josh – One (Olympics)

Jake – Five (Two Commonwealth, Two European, One World Champs

Neil – One (European Indoors)

Chris – Three (One European, two European Indoors)

Yes, our awesome quartet have seized no fewer than 10 major middle distance medals in recent years, with nine of those being over 1500m (Jake won a European 800m silver last summer).

It’s quite a Scottish haul of fame, when put into context.

The period over which these medals have been won began in August 2014 when Chris took bronze in Zurich at the European Champs. So the span is less than nine years.

And, in each of these Men’s 1500m events, there are probably more than 40 entrants (certainly outdoors) with the vast majority with PBs sub 3:40 and a large cohort nowadays even sub 3:35.

For our four Scots to keep beating a path to the podium ahead of all that opposition represents sustained excellence – #SALtogether, #SALachieve if you like.

In additions to the medals, there has been success at Diamond League level, countless medals at the British Champs, NCAA titles and Records, and high profile wins at events like the Fifth Avenue Mile or the Millrose Games.

Chris, now retired, is rightly proud of his ‘standard-bearer’ role in showing three younger men the route to medals.

Neil, at 28, has had to, if not quite ‘live in the shadow’ of the other three, then certainly work extremely hard indeed to feature in the same conversation. He’s there now, that’s for sure, and that rise merits serious appreciation and…

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