Bryce Butterworth is World Transplant Games champion

CHAMPION: Bryce Butterworth
CHAMPION: Bryce Butterworth

PENDLE AC’s Bryce Butterworth was on top of the world after competing at last month’s World Transplant Games for Great Britain.

The talented 41-year-old athlete returned home to Barrowford from Gothenburg, Sweden, with a gold and two silver medals, hailing the experience as “incredible”.

“There was a really good atmosphere out there, not just between our team members but between all the countries taking part,” he said. “We there for the whole week and it was busy one, with me competing in three events. It was an incredible experience overall and one that I really enjoyed.”

Bryce, who had a kidney transplant in 2008, finished second in the 40-49 years’ 200m in a time of 26.49 seconds - just behind Robert Gelencsér of Hungary (26.11).

In the 400m, he competed in heat two of the final, winning in 58.31 seconds – more than three seconds ahead of Germany’s Nehar Nurlu (61.97), but behind the winner of heat one, Michael Gohdes of Australia, who took gold with a time of 57.81.

Then he formed part of the British 18+ 4x400m relay team – with James Colbeck, Matthew Salkeld and Stephen Jarvis - which took gold in a World Transplant Games record of 3:49.81 minutes - 10 seconds clear of runners-up Hungary in 3:59.58.

Great Britain topped the medals table with 115 golds, 94 silvers and 77 bronze medals and Bryce said it was a great feeling to have been part of the team effort.

“I was very happy with how everything went and now I’m looking forward to getting back to taking part in local competitions.”

Bryce qualified for the games after winning the 40-49 years’ 400m and shot putt in the British Transplant Games at Bath, although he said he may not be taking part in this year’s games.

“I don’t think I’ll be going to British Games in Belfest or the European Games next year,” he revealed. “The next World Championships take place in South Africa in two years and that may be something that I aim for.

“Athletics is always something I have loved and before I had the transplant I ran at club level to a decent standard. I usually train four times a week but I have to be careful because sometimes I do more than I should do really. I love what I do though and I’ll definitely be carrying on.”