Tyrone's Nick Griggs strikes gold at Euro Championships a month after brother's death
A Mid Ulster school boy who lost his older brother in tragic circumstances, lifted a gold medal in the 3,000 metres at the European U20 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, on Saturday.
Nick Griggs from Newmills ran a “tactically astute” race according to Mid Ulster Atheltics Club coach Barrie Holmes.
Just last month the 16-year-old lost his 19-year-old brother Josh in a tragic accident at Banbridge while he doing summer work to raise funds for university studies.
The Cookstown High School pupil was not expected to finish in the medals but kicked strongly in the last lap to win in 8:17.18.
It was Ireland’s third gold medal of the day and fourth overall in the competition.
Nick’s victory signals a very promising future for the Tyrone teenager on the track.
Speaking afterwards he told reporters: “Of course when I saw the other guys winning I wanted to show something similar.
“But in the end I just did my job and focused on my race... I did not feel any pressure because we are prepared to race like this. We are a very small country and these results are just exciting.”
A delighted Mid Ulster coach Barrie Holmes said it was a brilliant performance by Nick at the championships.
He said: “It was a great shock to learn of the sudden death, due to an accident at his summer job, of Josh Griggs, older brother of our esteemed member Nick.
“Josh had an outstanding athletic talent and took part in his younger days in our Star Track Summer Camp but his talent took him to Gaelic football, where I understand he was a rising star.”
Cookstown High School also posted a message congratulating Nick on his performance at the championships in Estonia.
Although Nick’s race victory came as surprise, the pointers were there for all to see in recent weeks.
Despite the tragic lost of his brother Josh, Nick set an Irish youth record of 8.11 over 3,000m in Dublin.
Back in May he also recorded a personal best time of 14. 16 over 5,000m in Belfast, so the potential was there ahead of the European Championships.
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