SPORTSMEN and women know they’ve arrived when they’re asked to take part in ‘A Question Of Sport’.
So you can forgive Hucknall athlete Andy Turner (pictured) for having an extra spring in his step after he appeared as a guest on the long-standing hit TV show for the first time.
What’s more, the 30-year-old hurdler turned in a performance that almost matched his heroics on the track.
For he answered correctly the final question on the show, in the nick of time, to earn his team a last-gasp 19-19 draw.
Turner, who is now based in Surrey but whose parents, Malcolm and Yvonne, live on Nottingham Road, Hucknall, was part of Matt Dawson’s team on the BBC TV quiz.
His other teammate was veteran Premiership footballer Kevin Phillips, while lining up in opposition for Phil Tufnell’s team were England rugby union international Toby Flood and comedian Hugh Dennis.
Turner barely put a foot wrong, providing two correct answers in the opening ‘Picture Board’ round and recording another point in the ‘Home And Away’ round.
The programme was shown on Monday night and is to be screened again on Friday January 28 at 7.30 pm.
It was an ideal tonic for Turner on the eve of the new athletics season, which gets under way tomorrow (Saturday) when he competes in the Aviva Indoor International in Glasgow and is expected to go head-to-head with US star David Oliver.
Oliver, who is currently ranked the fastest hurdler in the world, was once a training partner of Turner, and the pair are scheduled to renew their rivalry again at the indoor Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on Saturday February 19.
Preparations will then begin for the outdoor season during the spring, summer and autumn as the build-up starts in earnest for the 2012 Olympic Games in London next year.
Whatever happens this year, Turner is unlikely to match his glorious achievements of 2010 when he landed a memorable gold-medal double at the European Championships and Commonwealth Games.
The double at last fulfilled the potential the Hucknall star has always shown. And it is also likely to stand him in good stead when the ‘gongs’ are handed out at the annual Nottinghamshire Sports Awards next month.
Representing Ashfield, Turner is one of 13 nominations on the shortlist for the most prestigious accolade at the ceremony, the Oustanding Achievement Award.
He is one of the leading fancies to win it but faces stiff opposition from the likes of Lee Westwood, the world’s new number one golfer and Ryder Cup hero, England Test cricketers Stuart Broad and Ashes hero Graeme Swann, swimmer Rebecca Adlington, badminton star Nathan Robertson, county cricket champions Notts CCC and also Notts County, who won the League Two championship in football.
The awards are organised by Notts County Council, who want the public to decide the winner of the Outstanding Achievement prize.
To vote, go to www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/l-sports-sportsreview-voting-achievementaward. But hurry because the closing date is Tuesday February 1.
Awards will also be handed out in 13 other categories, including club of the year, sportsperson of the year, team of the year and coach of the year, plus junior equivalents. The ceremony is being held at the new theatre of The Becket School in West Bridgford on Monday February 21.