Plenderleith gets the message he’s world-class after Hampden improvements

Grant Plenderleith
Grant Plenderleith

Hard to please Grant Plenderleith says tonight’s fifth place in the final doesn’t feel as good a run as yesterday’s heat, but he’s still being told he is a world class athlete.

After the heats, Plenderleith and his team-mates were bombarded with social media messages extolling the performance where the team of Kris Robertson, Jamie Bowie and Greg Louden smashed the Scottish record and qualified as one of the two fastest teams outside the automatic positions. Yet tonight, in disgustingly wet conditions at Hampden, they were just 0.14 behind their own record.

On the surface it didn’t feel as good to Plenderleith, but as he talked the race over with he almost talked himself out of disappointment and recognised it as a commendable finish as it slowly sank in.

“The main target was to reach the final, and we’ve done that but as well as that we’ve finished fifth,” he said.

The team was ranked ninth in the Commonwealth Games, but forced their way to the top table with the seventh best time. Improving further, they finished fifth.

“Going forward I think we need to keep the team together because we are achieving,” he said.

“But you see the guys we’re up against they’re world class - but a lot of people have been sending messages saying we’re in the same category and that feels incredible.

“It was an outstanding run from us so we are happy – but it doesn’t feel as good as yesterday’s but in time-wise it isn’t far off and in previous Scottish standards it’s been very good.”

Plenderleith began his sporting career as an athlete and a Syngenta footballer as a child, before focussing on football, but winning a fastest sprinter competition for lower league Scottish football clubs while at Stenhousemuir reminded him of his athletic capabilities and he returned to the track with Falkirk Victoria Harriers. He moved from the Warriors to Bo’ness United , then Sauchie before switching his entire focus to sprints.