Susan bows out with a real high

SINCE the turn of the century Susan Deacon has been Scotland’s leading lady as far as sprinting is concerned, but after winning the Scottish 100 metres title for the fifth time has decided it’s time to hang up her spikes.

SINCE the turn of the century Susan Deacon has been Scotland’s leading lady as far as sprinting is concerned, but after winning the Scottish 100 metres title for the fifth time has decided it’s time to hang up her spikes.

The Edinburgh sprinter, born Susan Burnside, was not only Scotland’s fastest over recent years, but also one of the quickest 100m and 200m athletes in the UK, which earned her numerous international honours, including competing in the World Championships two years ago.

However, after competing for over 13 years, Susan has decided the time is right so, after winning the 100m and finishing runner-up over 200m behind Osaka-bound Christine Ohuruogu last weekend in Scotstoun, she has packed her starting blocks and racing kit away for the final time.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time on the international scene, even though I haven’t quite produced what has been expected of me at times,” said the 27-year-old, who now lives in County Durham with husband Jared.

“I’ve been fortunate to compete all over the world in major championships, including the Commonwealth Games, World Indoor and Outdoor Championships, and been a regular in the European Cup.

“One disappointment was missing out on the 2004 Olympics as GB were ranked 17th in the 4x100m relay and only the top 16 teams were allowed to enter.

“But that was only a small blip in my career, which started when I was 14 or 15-years-old running in the Edinburgh Schools’ Championships.

“It’s been a long journey, but I feel it’s time to call it a day – though I won’t walk away completely from the sport that has been a major part of my life for so long.”

After her initial schools’ success, Susan was advised to link up with the then Edinburgh Woollen Mill club – now Edinburgh AC – and quickly rose to fame by winning the Scottish Schools’ 200m title.

Further progress saw Susan gain under-20 honours and then, in 2000, pick up her first Scottish senior vest.

The following year she was a member of the GB under-23 team which won the relay gold medal at the European Championships.

Major championships followed every year, but even though she is fitter, faster and stronger than she has ever been, it hasn’t shown when it matters in competition.

“I train at a much higher level than I’ve competed at over the years, so that’s one reason why I’ve always kept going,” confessed Susan.

“I’ve always said I could run whatever time and get in whatever team, because I think my body is capable of that.

“I was in GB teams (seniors) since 2003, but last year was the first time I wasn’t selected for the European Cup.

“It was then I realised that I needed to move on time-wise, but it didn’t happen.

“So, after lots of soul searching I’ve come to the decision that the time is right to move on.

“I don’t want to just fade into nothing. It’s very difficult to know when the right time to retire is. I’ve been used to running in GB teams and going to major championships but now the time seems right to seek a new challenge.”

Susan is hopeful of linking up with her husband, who trains a highly-successful group of athletes, which includes Victoria Barr, now in Osaka for the World Championships, and English Schools’ 100m champion, Richard Kilty.

“I would like to get involved on the coaching side of things,” she added.

“I’ve seen how successful Jared has become, but I know he has a lot on his plate work-wise, so I think I could step in and help out when he is not available.”

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