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FAMILY SILVER; Medallist Chris breaks record of dead brother.

Byline: By DAVID ANDERSON in Melbourne

HURDLER Chris Baillie paid tribute to his dead brother yesterday by breaking his record at the Commonwealth Games and going on to win silver.

He ran the 110 metres hurdles semifinal in 13.44 seconds - two tenths of a second faster than the Scottish record that 21-year-old Ross had set four months before a food allergy claimed his life.

Then thousands of spectators in the MCG stadium saw Chris run over to mum Sheila and dad Hugh - both former athletics stars - after coming second in the finals to share a private moment.

The 24-year-old athlete from Glasgow said of his brother's record: "I wanted to break it myself rather than have someone else break it.

"My parents felt the same and I knew it would come. After the medal ceremony, I gave mum my flowers. I hadn't seen that much of them since arriving in Melbourne, but I think they're happy now."

Ross died in June 1999 after suffering a heart seizure triggered by a nut allergy from eating a coronation chicken sandwich in his lunch break from training.

His housemate and world record holder Colin Jackson had considered Ross to be his natural successor in the 110m hurdles.

In 1998, Ross competed for Scotland in in Kuala Lumpur - and four years later, Chris came seventh in the hurdles final in Manchester's games.

He vowed then to dedicate any future medal win to Ross - but this year the Birchfield Harrier decided not to talk about his tragic brother before racing in case the emotions were too much.

Chris revealed: "It would have been too much to think about. I would have used up too much energy and too much emotion before the race.

"I've learnt the importance of relaxing and putting the hype away.

"When I walked out, all I could hear was the noise from the crowd.

"Then, when it's race time, you just switch off from everything."

Chris now hopes to achieve all the goals his brother set for himself - and his next target is make the team for the European Championships in Gothenburg in August. He added: "That's the goal for the summer. I want to continue to do well."

david.anderson@mgn.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

JOY: Jubilant Chris celebrates yesterday Picture: REUTERS' TRIBUTE: Ross
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 22, 2006
Words:385
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