Samantha strikes gold at Dubai meeting - nine times!

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Berwickshire athlete Samantha Kinghorn most definitely has the golden touch, landing on the top of the medal rostrum nine times during her recent trip to Dubai.

The star performer from Gordon has just turned 18 but took some notable senior scalps at two meets in the Middle East crossing the line ahead of her rivals in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m in the first and repeated her success in the second along with a gold in the 1500m.

Samantha’s life changed forever at the end of 2010, when, while helping to clear snow at her family’s farm at Middlethird she was crushed by a mound of snow and ice which fell from the roof of a farm building.

The Earlston high school pupil suffered severe spinal injuries as a result of the accident but since then she has shown incredible strength to not only tackle her disability head on but also make a massive impression on the athletics scene.

Samantha, who holds six Scottish records, went to Dubai feeling confident but even she never imagined she’d arrive home with so much gold around her neck.

“I was wanting to go over there and set some new personal bests, which I did five times, but I never thought I’d win so many golds,” she commented.

“I felt good going over there but with different track surfaces and the heat you can’t really predict how things are going to go.

“I was racing against some really strong athletes, some of whom I’ve competed against before, so it was a great experience for me.”

Lining up alongside world class athletes is something Samantha will have to get used to as she edges ever closer to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Samantha found out she’d made the Scotland squad for the 1500m - a distance in which she completed under four minutes for the first time in Dubai- back in the autumn but she admitted it still hasn’t fully sunk in.

“I’m getting more and more excited all the time but I’m also really nervous.

“This year is going so quickly; the games are going to be here in no time.

“All my family have got tickets to see me and I think they’re more excited than me!”