By Conor Sharkey
ATHLETE Trevor McGlynn will stare one of the toughest challenges of his career straight in the eye shortly when he takes on the European Double Decathlon Championships.
Made up of sprints, hurdles, jumps and throws, the double decathlon is regarded as the pinnacle of multi-track and field eventing.
For McGlynn it will mean two days of gruelling exertion, competing against 38 other athletes in Cambridge over the weekend of August 27 and 28. His selection to the Irish squad underlines a remarkable return to form for the Strabane man.
In his younger years Trevor McGlynn was regarded as one Ireland’s top prospects. During a glittering career he smashed record after record, some of which still stand today. Family and business commitments though have kept him off the track and by extension off the radar of the main players for several years.
Until now that is and shortly he will be going for gold against the best in the business once again. Looking forward to his big return, the 38-year-old said this week, “I’ve been back training about 18 months but I’ve only been seriously involved again since early April. Up until that point I had really only been bluffing my way.
“Since I’ve started back properly I have shed three stone. I put in a really good performance at the Irish indoors and I said that I would give this a go.”
The past five months have been some of the toughest of the veteran athlete’s long track career. In a bid to make the grade for Cambridge he has had to push the boat out in as many as four disciplines in every competition he has signed up for.
No stranger to multi-discipline competition, McGlynn’s trophy cabinet reveals how he has won medals at just about every track and field sport there is. Most of those though were picked up when he wore a younger man’s jersey.
“I did the double decathlon 14 years ago and I made it to the world championships. I was leading up until the halfway point when I got injured. At that stage I was giving every event 100 per-cent and my body basically broke down.
“But I have always wanted to give it another crack and when I started training again at the start of the year, this was my goal.
“A lot has changed in terms of training over the years and I would safely say Strabane has some of the best facilities in the world with Peak Performance. I have trained in gyms in America, Slovenia, Poland, you name it and none of them had what Peak has. It has made my training so much easier and that coupled with the experience I already have, hopefully things go well in Cambridge.”
For his double decathlon challenge Trevor McGlynn will compete in the masters category. Because of the nature of the event though he will have to take on athletes from right across the age spectrum.
“My strengths will lie in the field events,” he said. “The sprint hurdles should be pretty good for me because my technique is good. The shot putt, javelin and discus too, any of the throwing events should be good for me. My weaknesses will be in the endurance events although that is where I have been focussing my training.
“The double decathlon is high risk and it will be easy to pick up an injury. But I’m just looking forward to getting back out there, competing and testing myself,” McGlynn added.