A YOUNG sprinting sensation has smashed a 30-year-old national record at the Scottish Schools Athletic Association Championships in Grangemouth.
Lewis Gibb, who is a member of Motherwell Athletics club, set the new record in the under-15 100 metres event, storming to the gold medal last Sunday after setting a new personal best of 11.56 seconds, beating the previous time of 11.60 seconds which stood since 1977.
The previous day, Lewis won the under-15 200 metre Scottish title knocking more than half a second off his previous time, running 23.49 seconds.
And with his trophy cabinet now “absolutely bursting” according to his proud father Robert, Lewis is fully focused on representing his country at international level in the next 12 months; although he does have one eye on the Commonwealth games in Glasgow.
Robert said: “His first ambition is to represent his country at any level and pull on that Scotland vest.
“And there is a possibility he may run for Scottish Schools next year.
“But ultimately his goal is to compete in 2014 because by then he will be 20 and hopefully at his peak.”
He added: “Lewis wants to run for as long as he can and if he can make money out of it he will be even happier.
“But only the very top athletes make money out of it.”
Robert decided to take his son along to Motherwell Athletics Club after watching him star in racing events whilst a member of the Boys’ Brigade.
“When Lewis was 11 he went to a Boys’ Brigade sports day, “ Robert said.
“He was running against guys about 14 or 15 years of age and was beating them by about 10 or 15 metres.
“I thought it looked like he had some potential so I took him along to the club.”
And since then his still fledgling career has taken off.
In only his second ever 60 metre race, Lewis won the West Districts Championships and in his third race he won the Scottish under-13 championships.
He then won the Scottish 100 metre outdoor championships in the same year.
This year he has won the Scottish 60 metre indoor title at under-15 level and has cleaned up in all the sprinting events in the West District area.
His success at the Scottish Schools meet at the weekend means that he is currently ranked number one in Scotland for his age group in the 60, 100 and 200 metre divisions.
Robert added: “Lewis has been working on his strength and endurance with his coaches and it has paid off.
“He is very committed to his running and does not play any other sports.
He continued: “When you see him before a race he is fully focused.
“I leave Lewis by himself for 30 minutes because he wants to concentrate on what he is doing.
“And even before races he knows he is going to win he still gets nervous.
“But I think that is a good thing. He probably wouldn’t be as fast if he wasn’t like that.”