Athletics is a core sport in The Commonwealth Games and the Isle of Man has competed in the athletics programme since the first Manx team took part in the 1958 Games in Cardiff. Interestingly, current Honorary President Dursley Stott competed in the 100 yards at those Games. At every Games since then, the Island has sent track and field athletes and with some good measure of success.
At Christchurch in 1974 Douglas postman Graham Young came 4th in the 20 mile walk, the closest that the sport has come to a medal. Two other race walkers have also placed 6th; Cal Partington in 1998 in the 10 km walk in Kuala Lumpur and her husband Steve, who came 6th in the 50 km walk in Melbourne in 2006.
High Jumper Martin Aram created history in the Manchester 2002 Games by being the first Manx athlete to qualify for a final and was desperately close to repeating that four years later in Melbourne.
Approximately 30 Manx athletes have represented the Island over the last 50 years. One of those athletes, David Anderson, who competed in the 400m hurdles in Edmonton, Canada, in 1978, is now member of Tynwald and Isle of Man Government Minister!
The race walks in particular have had a large number of representations; 12 in all with amazing Laxey man Steve Partington competing in six consecutive games over three distances, 20 km, 30 km and 50 km.
In the Island's debut at the Youth Games in Bendigo, Australia, athletics was a strong part of the team with three young aspiring Athletes wearing Manx colours.
Allan Callow: +44 (0) 7624 473354, firstname.lastname@example.org
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