Positive start for Sam Fernando at Global Games

Sam Fernando
Sam Fernando

Sam Fernando from Gateside and Fife AC ran strongly in his first event at the Inas Global Games 2019 at Queensland Sport and Athletics Centre in Brisbane earlier in the week.

Japanese athletes dominated the T20 10,000 metres INAS World Championships final, winning all three medals.

Sam finished seventh with the strength of the field demonstrated by the sixth placed athlete finishing in a time six seconds faster than Sam’s personal best for 10K.

Sam started the race comfortably and after ten laps was running with the pack.

The pace was intense and Sam sensibly allowed a gap to open.

The next ten laps were not his best but, as other athletes tired, he picked up again and made his way back into contention.

Athletes were spread over the 400 metres of the track and in this particular race the winning Japanese athlete lapped all other seventeen competitors.

Sam became confused and stopped one lap early and lost at least 10 seconds.

Interventions from officials and Team UK staff and supporters encouraged him to start running again but the delay influenced his finishing time if not his finishing position.

Richard Brickley OBE/MBE president of Disability Sport Fife said: “Sam ran very well in his first INAS Global Games event. Processing information and coping with the many changes that happen in distance races are just some of the challenges faced by athletes with intellectual impairments. Sam had lots of decisions to make but he coped admirably.

“The heat also made the setting more demanding and Sam did well to finish ahead of top T20 athletes from Italy, Spain, Denmark, Sweden, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

“Sam has enjoyed some quality steeplechase training in preparation for his major event on Thursday (run as we were going to press) over 3K plus of course the barriers and water jump.”