Berwick teenager Cameron Tindle admitted it was a dream come true to represent Scotland at senior level for the first time on Saturday.
The 16-year-old competed at the season-opening Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match at the Emirates Arena, and managed a third-place finish in the 60m after world indoor champion Richard Kilty was disqualified for a false start.
Tindle registered an indoor personal best over the distance with a time of 6.92 seconds in a field of world-class athletes, and kept his nerve when Kilty twitched.
But the young-gun was quick to point out that he was not getting ahead of himself.
“I certainly wouldn’t say I beat the world champion! He was unlucky to get disqualified, and I actually would have preferred it if I had got to race him,” said Tindle, speaking at the Sainsbury’s event – a partnership with British Athletics that builds on Sainsbury’s support for the 2012 Paralympics and recognises that sport can unite and inspire children of all ages and abilities.
“I try not to think about it when other competitors get disqualified. When it’s a false start you just have to keep your head focused on what you’re on the track to do, which is to cross the line in the fastest time possible.
“That’s one of those things that just happens in sport. You’ve just got to stay switched on.
“It’s an absolute dream to get my first Scotland senior cap at 16, and I just want to keep building on this and see where I go.
“The atmosphere was absolutely amazing, I’ve never experienced anything like it before, and to hear the roar when your name was read out makes the hairs on the back of your neck stick up.
“I was out here just to enjoy it, as I’d done all the hard work over the winter and in qualifying, and I definitely have done.”
The Berwick Academy student, who also competes for Edinburgh AC, had smashed his previous best time at the National Open last weekend to qualify for the meet, decimating a field that included experienced Scots Ryan Oswald and Stephen Dunlop.
And Tindle found time to thank fellow Berwick athlete and Commonwealth Games hero Guy Learmonth for putting an experienced arm around his shoulders.
“Guy is extremely helpful for me. He keeps me calm, and has the experience of competing at the very highest level,” he added.
“He’s a great role model for me, as he’s been in my position before and done all the big races.
“But he’s also such a down to earth person and there to give a helping hand. He’s motivated and guides you through the entire process. So he’s been a great help, definitely.
“The big goal for me this season is to go to Samoa and do well at the Youth Commonwealth Games. I’ll need to get the qualification times first, and have my eye on the 200m too.”
Sainsbury’s is a proud partner of British Athletics. The partnership reflects Sainsbury’s wider commitment to inspiring healthy lifestyles for all, and complements grassroots campaigns such as Active Kids and the Sainsbury’s School Games. www.sainsburys.co.uk