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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Cameron Sharp's daughter - Lynsey's Olympic dream draws closer

Cameron Sharp's daughter - Lynsey's Olympic dream draws closer

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Scottish lass Lynsey Sharp ran a surprising 2nd in the 800m at the European titles on the weekend. Lynsey is the daughter of Scottish champion sprinter Cameron Sharp who was a member of the Scottish 4 x 100m relay team that won the gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. Coached by Frank Dick, Sharp was an Olympic semi finalist in 1980 and won the bronze medal in the 100m and 200m at the 1982 Commonwealth Games (behind Allan Wells) and has a 100m PB of 10.20. Sadly, Cameron Sharp at the age of 40, was badly injured in a 1991 car accident suffering partial paralysis down his left side.

Cameron Sharp

Sharp Lynsey out to emulate her father Cameron as Olympic dream draws closer

By Neil Wilson
26 June 2012

Lynsey Sharp

Twenty-nine years after her father last competed in the famous Olympic Stadium here in Helsinki, Lynsey Sharp will try this week at the European Championships to follow in his footsteps by becoming an Olympian.

Cameron Sharp, a Commonwealth champion who raced in the 100 and 200 metres at the Moscow Olympics in 1980, sprinted here at the first World Championships in 1983 against the likes of Carl Lewis and narrowly missed out on a place in the final.

Fractions may also come into it for 800m runner Lynsey, 21, a graduate in law last week from Edinburgh’s Napier University. She has to beat 1min 59.60sec to confirm an Olympic place partially earned when she won last weekend’s GB trials race. But there is more in it than time.

There are three blondes in the same British boat here. She must also beat world bronze medallist Jenny Meadows and four-time British champion Jemma Simpson — a scenario common throughout a British team more concerned with Olympic places than European medals.

In a team of 80, Mo Farah is the only Briton exclusively concerned with winning a medal. He defends his 5,000m title today as part of a competitive programme to prepare him for London. In every other event in which Britain is represented, the priority is the competition for places in the team being chosen next Monday.

However, none among the women’s events is quite like the 800m. Another blonde, Emma Jackson, has the selection A standard but broke a rib two weeks ago and, on painkillers, finished nowhere in the trials and is unable to run here.

But if there is a private story guaranteed to win the sympathy vote it belongs to Sharp, whose father was physically and mentally disabled by a car crash in 1991 and, with the help of Lynsey’s mother Carol, another international runner, had to learn to walk and talk again.

Lynsey is sponsored by the Edinburgh solicitors who won her father £1.5million in damages from the hospital that treated him. If she wins her Olympic place she plans to make as big an effort to get her dad the disabled pass he will need to watch her run in London.

But Lynsey said: ‘I am trying not to think about it and put pressure on myself. If somebody had told me a year ago that I would win the Olympic trials I would have laughed. I’m telling myself that I am still young. If it was my last chance at the end of my career I might be chasing the time more but I’m still young. There will be other Olympics...’

Not for Meadows, who spent two months in a special boot to recuperate from an achilles tendon tear. She is running her first race of the year in Thursday’s heats.

Just two weeks ago she had not run 800m in spikes even in training this year.

She comes with the good wishes of Sir Alex Ferguson, who allowed her to use an underwater treadmill at Manchester United’s training ground for rehabilitation.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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