VETERAN Donegal athlete Hugh Gallagher continues to break national records into his ninety-second year!
The Milford AC competitor won the shot putt and the long jump in the over 90 category at the Irish Masters Indoor Athletic Championships held in Athlone on Sunday last. He also broke the Irish record in the long jump.
This comes little more than six months after he won three gold medals and one silver at the World Masters Athletic Championships in Lyon.
Speaking to the Donegal News this week Mr Gallagher from Creevy, Carrigart said that there was always time to keep fit – even if you’re in your ninties!
“I did a lot of running and cycling when I was a young man. However when I went to work in England and Scotland the training had to take a back seat as I worked long hours,” Hugh said.
A work accident in London almost claimed his life.
“I was hit across the back by an iron girder. It almost killed me. I was taken to St George’s Hospital in London where I was told that I would never walk again. They said my back was broke and they put me in plaster. I felt mighty low for a long, long time.
“Thankfully however my willpower took over and with the grace of God I started to get strong once more,” Hugh said.
The father of twelve, his eldest son Michael died when he was seventeen, Hugh’s interest in athletics was re-ignited when his children started to compete.
Sport has given Hugh the opportunity to visit many countries across the globe. He has competed for Ireland in places as far apart as Australia, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Italy, Germany, Poland, Spain and the Scandinavian countries.
Hugh has now won a grand total of 172 All-Ireland Gold medals to go with 29 World gold medals, 5 world silver and 2 world bronze medals.
He also holds world records in the 35lb and 56lb shot putts at different age groups, the 5kg Greek discus, Goulding hammer and javelin triathlon at different age groups.
The grand-father also holds Irish records in running, walking, jumping and every weight throwing from 400grams javelin to 112lb weight throw.
He has also won 23 European gold and 5 silver medals. 25 British gold medals including scotch and Welsh medals.
Last November, the Ulster Athletics Sports Star Awards committee unanimously selected Hugh for the prestigious Ulster hall of fame award.
Posted: 4:29 pm March 24, 2016
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