Athletics News

A View of Athletics, update 7: Kerr’s world indoor triumph in Glasgow sparks memories of the glories – and glitches – of the city’s own Tom McKean

Josh Kerr entertains Glasgow with his exciting win over 3,000 meters!



A View of Athletics: Kerr’s world indoor triumph in Glasgow sparks memories of the glories – and glitches – of the city’s own Tom McKean



The World Athletics Indoor Championships, which just concluded in the Glasgow Arena, are still ringing in my head in classic post-gig fashion.

The 19th edition of this event was a blast. The two concluding evening sessions produced a dizzying sequence of hits. The beat went on and on…

World records? Courtesy of Femke Bol and then Devynne Charlton, they were provided on Saturday and Sunday night. As Meatloaf had it, two out of three ain’t bad.

Josh Kerr takes the gold for Team GB in the 3,000m, photo by Dan Vernon Photo for e

Historic resonance? Oh yes. Who will forget the emotion that choked out of Julien Alfred after she had glid past Poland’s quirky, engaging, super-fast-starting Ewa Swoboda in the women’s 60m final to become the first global medallist for her home country of St Lucia – and a gold medallist at that?

And there’s always an extra buzz when a home athlete wins at a Championships. That happened to a band playing as British pole vaulter Molly Caudery and Scotland’s Josh Kerr secured gold within an hour of each other in the jam-packed Saturday evening session.

Just over six months after surprising Norway’s Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen – but emphatically not himself – to win the world outdoor title, the 26-year-old from Edinburgh earned himself another place atop a global podium with utter certainty.

It took me back…oh yes, it took me back…

Wavy lines…mood music…bagpipes?… I think not…The Proclaimers? Yes…I’m Gonna Be perhaps… took me back to Glasgow. That is, Glasgow in 1990.

On March 4 that year, the city’s own Tom McKean, winner of the World Cup 800m in Barcelona the year before, lived up to his billing with a performance of equal certainty to Kerr’s as he claimed the European Athletics Indoor title at the Kelvin Hall – five miles down the road from where the Glasgow Arena now stands.

Tom McKean, photo courtesy of Scottish Athletics

McKean led all the way, creating a two-meter gap and hitting the halfway mark in 53.35 before holding off the challenge of Spain’s Tomas de Teresa and claiming his first international indoor title in a Scottish indoor record of 1:46.22.

I covered both those victories and was present when McKean won European, outdoor gold in Split later in 1990 and returned to the boards in 1993 to win the title at the fourth World…

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