World Record Breakers - Kayleight Haggo and Gavin Drysdale
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MEET two gritty world record breakers. Kayleigh Haggo and Gavin Drysdale each won four gold medals and smashed three world bests in an international athletics competition. The plucky duo were representing Scotland in the Wheelchair and Amputee World Games in the United Arab Emirates. Their dazzling performance was described as inspirational by a leading athletics official.

Kayleigh, 12, is from Maybole while Gavin, 11, lives in Ayr. Both have cerebral palsy. And they rose to the challenge in the competition which drew 900 athletes from 47 countries. They were accompanied to Sharjah by Gavin’s dad Peter and Kayleigh’s mum Sandra. An elated Sandra said: “It was a proud moment to hear the Scottish anthem being sung eight times at the medal ceremony.

 “Both of them did extremely well and everyone is so proud and thrilled for them.” The leading disabled senior athletes in the world took part in the competition which is rated second only to the Paralympics. Kayleigh and Gavin proved they are best in the world at race running, a relatively new addition to the international arena in disability sport. The pair took part on three wheel Petra running bikes which have no pedals. And in their races over 100, 200, 400 and 800 metres, they beat off entrants from Sweden and Denmark in personal best times.

The youngsters are members of Ayr Carrick Eagles, Red Star and Scottish Disability Sports. Shona Malcolm, disability development officer for Scottish athletics, said: “They are inspirational young athletes and the best in their field in a growing sport. “It has been around for a few years in places like Denmark but is new to Scotland over the past two years.” Earlier, this year, Gavin scooped the Ayrshire Sportsability’s Young Athlete of the Year award. Last year, he notched two world records in the European Race Running Championships in Denmark. Kayleigh only began taking part in competitions this year. But she has already amassed a host of medals and certificates for personal best performances. A keen ice hockey player, she also made it into the West of Scotland swimming squad. 

Article above by Mike Wilson of the Ayrshire Post    See also the BBC video of the event event