A LEADING North-east athletics coach has hailed the London 2012 Olympics as an ‘’unbelievable success of organisation, planning and goodwill.’’
Miller Mathieson a coach of 37 years experience who was in the stadium in the middle Saturday of the games, was over the moon about the three golds won by Team GB in track and field events on the magical night for British sport.
‘’It was a marvellous triumph for Jessica Ennis in the pentathlon, Greg Rutherford in the long jump, and Mo Farah in the 10,000 metres,’’ said the 74 year old before going on to warn that for Scotland to win medals at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 in track and field events would need a major miracle.
‘’We cannot take gold or any other colour of medal for granted, especially given the state of Scottish athletics. At this moment in time we do not have a single world class athlete in the country,’’ said a realistic Mathieson who is president of the Aberdeen Athletics Club who hosted a highly successful event in Aberdeen last weekend.
‘’The Celtic Games were voted a great triumph for the North - east where we have to fight the central belt to attract a major meet. We can build on this,’’ said the coach of combined eventing, bringing on some of the area’s top eventers, including his own son Duncan who represented Scotland in the decathlon at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland, New Zealand.
‘’Duncan came very credible eighth out of a field of 16. My wife Alison and myself were both there. It was another marvellous occasion,’’ said Mathieson who paid tribute to his wife for her sterling efforts at the Celtic Games.
Mrs Mathieson is leading combined eventing and long jumping, making a significant contribution to the weekend.
‘’She was truly amazing, even indispensable,’’ he said just as large bouquet arrived as a token of the love and esteem in which he holds her.
‘’A long time ago I decided if you couldn’t beat them you had to join them. This I did, and the rest is history.It has been a wonderful journey,’’ said Alison.
But while Team GB underachieved in track and field competitions there were compensations in other disciplines, including cycling and tennis where the Scottish contingent picked up two golds in both sports.
All in all an occasion to store away in the memory for the dark winter nights to come with the Mathieson’s able to say ‘’and we were there.’’
Indeed we were all there, even if it was only watching the 2500 hours provided by the indefatigable BBC.
The final medal tally placed Great Britain in third spot with 29 gold, 17 silver and 19 bronze - a total of 65. The United States topped the table with 46 gold, 29 silver and 29 bronze, followed by China with 38, 27 and 22.