Fairfax 2015: Smith enjoys decathlon medal success in World Police & Fire Games

Alan Smith competing in the ultimate firefighter
Alan Smith competing in the ultimate firefighter
Picture: Malcolm Wells

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A five-star show from Alan Smith saw him pick up an impressive haul of medals from the World Police & Fire Games in the United States.

The firefighter, from Portsmouth, earned two silver medals and three bronze medals as the hard training he put in for the event paid off.

He excelled in the decathlon, the full gear stair race, and the ultimate firefighter competition at the event held this year in Fairfax County, Virginia.

Services personnel from around the world gather every two years to take part in the Games of Heroes – the third biggest multi-sport event on Earth, with around 12,000 athletes taking part.

Smith, 53, has made the trip to Sydney and Belfast for previous events but this year he was taking on his first ever decathlon, as part of his gruelling schedule for the 10-day spectacle.

And to secure a bronze medal in the age-50 plus category was the icing on the cake of a great competition after many hours of training at the Mountbatten Centre with City of Portsmouth athletes Steve Davey and Adam Akehurst.

Alan Smith in training. Picture: Sarah Standing

Alan Smith in training. Picture: Sarah Standing

Smith said: ‘The group of guys competing were brilliant – everyone was supporting each other.

‘I never expected to get a medal so that made it even better.

‘When I got home to England I went to thank Steve Davey.

‘I was most pleased with my 400m. I smashed what was my personal best.

‘My time was under 69 seconds and I was looking at a time of around 76 to 78 seconds.

‘That was the last event on day one (of the decathlon) and it capped off a really good day for me.

‘On day two I was struggling with a bit of an injury but had enough points to hold on for third place.’

Smith is more experienced in the stair race and ultimate firefighter.

He picked up an individual bronze medal and a team bronze in the stair race but it was even more challenging than he had anticipated.

‘It was 28 commercial floors, not residential floors, so that made it harder than I expected,’ he added.

‘It was bigger than anything we have got here in Pompey.

‘The guy that won my age group (50-plus) was a Spanish guy. He ran up at the same pace the 20 year olds ran it.

‘Overall, the average run was just under six minutes but the quickest run of the day was three minutes 50.’

Smith completed his haul of five medals with a silver in the 50-plus ultimate firefighter individual event and a silver in the 45-plus team event.

Sadly for everyone, one of the officers competing at the games, Carlos Silva, 48, from Brazil, died after an accident during the cycle race.

Two other competitors were hospitalised in a critical condition and Smith spoke of his sadness.

He said: ‘They held a midnight vigil after and everyone got together.

‘We were all thinking about the athletes involved and their families.’

A GoFundMe site has raised more than $12,000 for Silva’s family and to help the other cyclists injured in the crash – gofundme.com/fairfax2015

The 2017 edition of the games will be held in Montreal, Canada.

But before then Smith could be back in competitive action with the possibility of lining up for the British Masters Decathlon Championships, in Birmingham, in September.