Gordon wheelchair athlete Samantha Kinghorn hoping to get third time lucky at Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Borders wheelchair racer Samantha Kinghorn is hoping to get third time lucky after being named in Scotland’s para-athletics team for this year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

By Darin Hutson
Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:55 am
Updated Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 5:55 am
Borderer Samantha Kinghorn competing in the women'’s T54 1,500m race at 2018's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Borderer Samantha Kinghorn competing in the women'’s T54 1,500m race at 2018's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

That will be the Gordon 26-year-old’s third Commonwealth Games appearance in a row after competing at Glasgow in 2014 and Australia in 2018 but she’s missed out on podium placings so far, so she’ll be determined to add a medal from the event to an array of honours including a silver and bronze for 400m and 100m races respectively at last year’s delayed Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

The double world champion will contest the women’s T54 1,500m class in the West Midlands and will be hoping to improve on her placings in her homeland eight years ago and on the Gold Coast four years later as she was only a whisker away from winning medals on both occasions, finishing fifth first time round and fourth next time out over the same distance.

“I’m very excited as it is going to be my third Commonwealth Games,” said the former Earlston High School pupil.

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“I was fifth in Glasgow and fourth in Gold Coast, so obviously my aim is to try and make it onto the podium.

“It’s not my event as it’s the 1,500m, but I’m feeling a lot stronger and a bit more tactically aware.

“I’m really looking forward to it and I’m incredibly lucky to have a games in Britain, where friends and family can come along and cheer me on. It’s going to be incredible.”

Kinghorn, made a Member of the British Empire at the start of this month for services to disability sport, is the only old hand among the five selections announced by Team Scotland for their para-athletics squad, the other four all being first-timers.

They are fellow Tokyo Paralympian Melanie Woods, marathon athlete Sean Frame and sprinters Ross Paterson and Alexander Thomson.

Woods, from Glasgow, will compete alongside Kinghorn in the T54 1,500m, having notched up a fifth-place finish at 800m at 2021’s Japan Paralympics; Frame, also from Glasgow, will contest the T54 marathon; and Paterson, from Paisley, and Thomson, from Hamilton, will go head to head in the T38 100m.

Team Scotland’s chef de mission, Elinor Middlemiss, said: “It’s brilliant to welcome Sammi back for a third games and to see Melanie, Sean, Ross and Alexander being selected for their first on the back of impressive results over the selection period.

“With under 50 days to go, Team Scotland are really taking shape and I’m looking forward to seeing them compete in front of a strong Scottish support in Birmingham.”

The Scots’ athletics team manager, Julie Mollison, added: “We’re delighted five athletes have been selected by Team Scotland to compete in Birmingham and send our congratulations to them, their families, their coaches and their clubs and support teams.

“With the games being in the UK, it is very exciting for everyone around these athletes as there is a chance to travel to Birmingham to cheer them on.

“The overall selection reflects progress by these athletes as individuals and arguably also more opportunities and more integration by our clubs to create the right pathway for para athletes.”

Athletics events will be staged at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham from August 2 to 6, preceded by the marathon race on July 30.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​