Belfast Telegraph

McConville rolls back the years

By Steven Beacom

Brendan McConville is scratching a seven-year itch at the World Police and Fire Games.

 

If the name sounds familiar to lovers of athletics, it's because McConville reached the heights of competing for Northern Ireland in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in the decathlon back in 2006.

There was heartbreak then because a serious injury prevented him from finishing the most testing event of them all in track and field.

But he has come out of retirement to enjoy international competition once again and endure the gruelling schedule of taking part in 10 disciplines over just two days.

The firefighter from Knock station in east Belfast, who is a respected athletics coach, explained: “It's been a long time since I competed at international level, so it is good to have the vest on again.

“This is as international as it was in the Commonwealth Games.

“It may be slightly lower key but it is a fantastic set-up here and we are well looked after. From a personal point of view it is brilliant for me to be competing at home on the Mary Peters Track.

“I finished decathlon competition after the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne when I had a serious ankle injury.

“I'm not really supposed to do the high jump but I came out of retirement last year looking to compete in the World Police and Fire Games and so far have managed okay.

“I have a good training group around me and one of the athletes I coach has just got the Commonwealth standard for the decathlon, Peter Glass. He achieved that last week which was great,” added McConville, who competed for Great Britain and Northern Ireland several times in the European Cup.

Perhaps Peter's performance in achieving the required standard for Glasgow next year inspired 34-year-old Brendan, who was the top points scorer in four out of the five disciplines yesterday.

By the time the 10th event, the 1500m, finishes today he should be a gold medal winner.

Jump to it: Brendan McConville (right) takes to the skies at the World Police and Fire Games

Belfast Telegraph Digital

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph