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Byline: David McCarthy in Melbourne

HURDLER Chris Baillie broke his Scottish record - then collected a Commonwealth Games silver medal.

And his tearful dad Hugh said: "It has been an incredibly emotional day."

Ross Baillie was the Scottish 110m hurdles record holder when he died at the age of 21 in June 1999.

The athlete suffered an allergic reaction to eating a chicken sandwich containing peanut oil.

Younger brother Chris, now 24, was determined to be the one to break his 13.66-second record.

And the Glasgow athlete finally achieved his dream in the heats of the Melbourne games, with a time of 13.44.

To cap it all, he ran the race of his life in the final to collect a surprise silver medal.

Chris said: "I think it's right that I was the one to break his record and I know it was something that my parents had wanted me to do.

"It was very special. I knew I was capable of it and I always said I would like to be the one who broke it.

"But I had to put the emotion of breaking the record away for the final. If I'd thought about it this afternoon it would have put me off a bit."

Dad Hugh, a former British 400m runner, and mum Sheila, an ex-hurdler, looked on with pride as Chris did his lap of honour with a Saltire on his shoulders.

He then picked them out in the crowd and gave them a hug.

With tears in his eyes, Hugh said: "After breaking Ross's record, Chris had to keep himself together and focus on the final.

"It was a bit nerve-wracking but I was glad that Chris broke the record. I knew it was going to get broken soon."

Sheila said: "We are extremely proud and so happy for Chris. He's worked extremely hard so we are just delighted.

"It was nice it happened in Australia, where Ross broke the record originally."

Back home in Glasgow, Chris's grandad Hugh Baillie said: "He will view his medal as a real tribute to Ross.

"They both became interested in athletics at school and it was obvious they were both very good.

"Ross was really keen on the hurdles and at the time Chris was trying the long jump and the high jump. He hadn't really decided what to specialise in.

"I think it was because of his brother that Chris finally settled on the hurdles. The two of them got on fantastically. They were great friends and loved nothing more than training and competing.

"Chris always wanted to be the one to beat Ross's record after Ross died.

"His mum will be so delighted that it is Chris who has achieved that."

Hugh, 93, a retired railway worker, lives with wife Margaret on Glasgow's south side.

He added: "When Ross died, it was a real shock. He knew he had an allergy but he didn't know some food he ate contained nuts.

"His death was completely unexpected and a real tragedy. It affected all the family.

"Chris's Commonwealth silver medal shows that he is a real champion.

"I stayed up and watched his heat because he always said it was his target at the games to do well in his heat.

"I went to bed after that, I didn't expect him to go on to win a medal and I don't think Chris did either."

Margaret, 90, said: "I am so proud of the achievements of both boys. Chris is a champion now and Ross will always be the champion he was when he was still alive."

Ross, who represented Scotland at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, set his record in Sydney just four months before he died. At the time, he was a training partner and flatmate of world record holder Colin Jackson in Bath.

Jackson was so distraught at the death of his close friend that he had to move out of the house they shared.

Scotland's athletics team manager Leslie Roy said last night: "Chris Baillie is now Chris Baillie, Commonwealth silver medallist.

"He is no longer Chris Baillie, brother and training partner of late national champion Ross."

Gordon Innes, secretary of Glasgow's Victoria Park Athletic Club, where Chris and Ross were members, said: "Everyone is thrilled for Chris and his parents. What a wonderful experience for them."

Aspokesman for Clydebank High School, where both Chris and Ross were pupils, said: "We are very proud of Chris.

"He has been a great ambassador for the school."



TRAINING PARTNERS: Chris and brother Ross' FLYING THE FLAG: Chris drapes himself in the Saltire as he celebrates his win. The 21-year-old beat the record held by his brother Ross, who died in 1999. Left, Colin Jackson at the funeral of Ross, who was his flatmate' REUTERS
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Mar 22, 2006
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