Wragby thrower Jim sets new national record for Ireland

Wragby’s Jim Gillespie has added another national record to his collection during a Throws Triathlon event in Swindon.

Jim Gillespie, pictured after a previous triumph, was in great form in Swindon.
Jim Gillespie, pictured after a previous triumph, was in great form in Swindon.

Competing for Ireland in the 60-64 age category, Jim, who has set several national records in previous age groups in the past, threw 8.89m in the shot, 28.93m in the discus – both of those being personal bests – and then managed 16.56m in the javelin to end with a final points score of 1,238 which in turn broke a long-standing Irish record.

And he was delighted to have made such an impression having not long competed in that category.

Jim said: “I'm ecstatic about breaking the record and adding to the ones I have previously set in younger age groups.

"Having moved up to this new 60-64 age group it's been fantastic to hit the ground running.

"After winning European gold in the Hammer Decathlon in 2019 for the 55-59 age group, I was hoping to add the world title the following year, but Covid put paid to any plans most of us had.

"So I have been planning to succeed in this new age group for over a year now and it has started better than I could have hoped for.”

Jim has competed in athletics since his teenage years, winning the England Schoolboys U17 400m hurdles title and breaking the national record in 1979 – going to school in Leicestershire after his family moved from Ireland in the mid-1960s.

He was asked to represent Ireland when he turned 18 and since then he has done so in a variety of events, ranging from the hurdles to the Decathlon.

He has spent his life involved in sport, particularly in schools, and has worked as a PE teacher in London, Cambridgeshire and latterly Lincolnshire where he was head of PE at Cherry Willingham Sports College in Lincoln for 12 years.

He now runs his own personal training and sports coaching business.