Steeplechaser Stephen Lisgo wasn’t expecting much from his Commonwealth Games debut after injury had plagued his preparations as he insisted purely making the start line was a victory.
An Achilles injury meant the 27-year-old spent more time in a swimming pool than on a running track in the build up, having run the qualifying time of 8:40.00 minutes several times.
The lack of race practice showed in the 3000m steeplechase final as Lisgo finished down in eighth place, running a time of 9:05.13 at another sold out night at Hampden Park.
Representing Scotland Lisgo saw Kenya’s Jonathan Ndiku win gold in a Games record of 8.10.44, while British rivals James Wilkinson and Luke Gunn both finished ahead of him.
And, despite knowing he wouldn’t be at the peak of his powers to wow a packed out home crowd at Hampden Park, Lisgo cut a disappointed figure after the final.
“I want to say it went awfully but it was as good as I could have hoped – I’ve been injured ever since I ran the (qualifying) time,” said Lisgo. “I’ve run next to nothing on land so that was horrible.
“I haven’t raced in forever because I’ve been injured and all I could do was go in the pool really and that doesn’t get you ready to run against the best in the world.
“I had an Achilles injury – I did it on May 1 and it has been just rehabbing it since. A couple of months ago I was half a lap ahead of where I was out there which would have put me in with a shot of fourth, fifth or sixth.
“I was beating the English guys two months ago without any training. A lot of friends and family bought tickets and I was never not going to turn out at a home Games, so I had to come.”
In truth, even if Lisgo had run close to his personal best of 8:35.49 he would still have only gained one place in what was a fast race.
But he admitted being able to run in front of a home crowd was at least a small consolation for what was largely a forgettable evening.
“I had to race and I did that,” he said. “The crowd were great and were cheering me around but when you haven’t got it in you, you haven’t got it in you.
“I will just have to focus on getting fit and getting back to where I was before my injury.”