Gillespie throws his way to a British title
It was a fantastic, but very long day, comprising 10 throwing events, four of which Jim had never done before.
In the throws decathlon points are awarded for how far each implement is thrown and the person with the most points takes the title.
For Jim, the event started well with a personal best in the hammer (25.02m), and the shot and javelin followed with solid enough performances.
Then came three unfamiliar events, the Kugelshocken, grenade throw and slingshot.
“I placed well, and much to my surprise, scoring more points than I thought I would,” Jim conceded.
“The discus came with a good 25 metre throw, then another strange event, the heavy large stone throw, which went surprisingly well.”
The event was rounded off with the one-handed hammer and heavyweight hammer, two events Jim knows and scored well in.
He finished the competition on 3,553 points, enough for a British title and new Irish record.
Jim added: “I always say to kids that I teach to never be afraid of competition, no matter how unfamiliar, and this is a perfect example.
“I could have looked at the unfamiliar events and decided to stay at home to watch the football, but I thought I’d give it a go, and I’m very pleased that I did.”