Veteran sprinter and SOG Employee Darren Scott struck gold at the European Masters Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland – breaking a world-record in the 200 metres M45 event which had stood for 16 years.
The North-West fitness instructor, who works at The Heath Leisure Suite in Runcorn and competes for St Helens and Sutton, took the M45 200 metre title in a time of 22.52, knocking .05 seconds off the previous world record set by legendary USA sprinter Bill Collins back in 1999. Darren also broke his own European record that he set in Birmingham just six weeks ago. His Great Britain team mate Michael Gardiner took silver with Austria in bronze medal position.
And there was double golden joy for Darren as he picked up gold again as Great Britain stormed home to take the M45 4×200 Metres Relay title ahead of France and Poland.
More than 40 nations competed in the tenth European Masters Indoor Athletics Championships staged at Torun, Poland from March 22-28. Darren’s two gold medal performances helped Great Britain to a haul of 59 gold medals in total and runner-up position in the overall medal table behind Germany and ahead of Poland.
Darren, aged 46, only took up athletics when he was 21 and quickly became a top-class 200 metre sprinter representing Scotland at international level. But when he turned 35-years-old, he became eligible to enter Masters’ competitions where he literally took the world by storm. He currently holds an astonishing 47 club, UK, British, European and World titles competing against athletes who in their heyday have graced Olympics’ tracks.
He has been unbeaten in his event since 2006, winning gold medals at every European and World Championship contest he has competed in.
Darren said: “Breaking the world-record felt fantastic and it was quite a relief after I missed out by just 100th of a second when I set my European record in Birmingham last month. The stadium at Torun was brilliant and it was nice to finally break the record at such a great competition. I’ve finally done it after all the hard training I’ve put in. It’s amazing what you can do with a lot of self-belief.”
Darren now has his sights firmly set on further titles and more records when he competes at the World Masters Outdoor Championships in Lyon, France, later this year. But he also has another important date in June when he is due to marry his partner Rebecca Marples. The couple live in Runcorn with their two children Franky and Laylah and both train at The Heath. Rebecca was in Poland to cheer on her future husband.
Darren, who this week is back at work as a fitness guru at The Heath, said: “Masters’ Athletics is really competitive and attracts athletes of all ages. You have to be 35 or over to take part and events are broken down into bands covering five years. People can take part as long as they are fit and able and the Masters’ events show there is no age barrier in athletics. I’ve seen a 75-year-old pole vaulting and a 100-year-old competitor taking part at one championship!”
John Lewis, Managing Director of SOG, the owner and operator of The Heath Business and Technical Park, says: “Darren is an incredible athlete and a credit to Halton and the North West. It’s brilliant that he has won more gold medals but taking the world-record is amazing and was a target that Darren had set his heart on. Everyone at The Heath is really delighted for him. Our gym members are really lucky to have such an inspirational instructor to work out with.”
Watch Darren break the world record here: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10203954735453533
To find out more about the business park and how to join The Heath Leisure Suite visit www.theheath.com. Anyone wishing to speak Darren about sponsorship should contact him on 07903971307