Sharp’s success brings back joy of life to dad


British 800m runner Lynsey Sharp qualified for the Olympic semi-finals on Wednesday, bringing a rare smile to the face of proud dad Cameron, a former sprinter disabled in a car crash 20 years ago. Cameron Sharp, who won European 200m silver in 1982, and two bronzes in the 100m and 200m at the 1982 Commonwealth Games, was left physically and mentally disabled in the 1991 smash.
But Lynsey, the European 800m silver medallist, said that her 54-year-old father had told her that her exploits had given him a real boost.
“I spoke to Dad on Skype last night, and it’s the first time I have seen emotion from him,” said the 22-year-old Scot.
“The Euros and the Olympics have really brought it out of him. It’s great to see him smile.” Sharp said she had gained particular satisfaction in qualifying for the semi-finals as she had been a controversial selection for the team.
She had been chosen despite not having run the qualifying time, which three other athletes had achieved, including former world and European medallist Jennifer Meadows. Under International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules, an athlete with a B-qualifying standard can only be selected for the Olympics if no other A-standard athletes are entered in the same event.
However, her performances in winning the Olympic trial, and then the silver in the European Championships, persuaded head coach Charles van Commenee to prefer her to the 31-year-old Meadows, who had been battling to recover from an Achilles injury.