Andrew Murphy (22) from Girvan has landed a GB and NI vest at Senior level after being called up for the Combined Events European Team Championships.
It is a reward for strong performances in recent months by the Kilbarchan AAC athlete, culminating in a bronze medal at the England Athletics Champs in Bedford at the end of May.
Andrew recorded a new points tally personal best of 7170 that weekend and his selection by British Athletics comes more than five years after first being picked to compete for GB at U20 level in a Combined Event March in Cardiff in March 2012.
“I’m delighted to be selected and looking forward to the event in Tallinn in Estonia in a few weeks,” said Andrew. “I’ve been working with my coach, Colin Sinclair, for two and a half years but I was injured early in that period.
“We’ve just put together a really solid winter of training and indoor competition and I think that’s what’s made the difference and helped me to get a points PB and individual event PBs. After the champs in Bedford, I was effectively fourth pick for the four slots in the Senior Men for GB but two other guys still had the chance to top my points figure at the event in Tenerife.
“Colin and I were watching the results as they came in and, thankfully for me, they didn’t make it, with one of them reaching 7120 and the other 7000. I’ve had a lot of support and that’s the way it is in the Combined Event community in Scotland. It’s a good time at the moment and hopefully that maybe encourages a few younger athletes to give it a try.”
Andrew who is responsible for running the successful Lowland Athletics Competition held every year in the town, is the current Native Scottish Record Holder in Indoor Heptathlon and, after his Honours Degree in Genetics, has just completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Education. He is now taking a year out before embarking on a teaching career, to fully concentrate on his sport.
Andrew and his coach are working extremely hard and hope to achieve Commonwealth standard and be selected to compete for Scotland at the Gold Coast next year.