ONE of the district’s athletes is hoping to build on a successful 2019 by targeting more international honours.

Heddon-on-the-Wall hurdler Darran Towart won bronze at the European Masters Championships in Venice in September.

The 41-year-old Tynedale Harrier worked hard over the festive period to overcome injury, and was set to compete in Monday’s New Year Sprint, at East Lothian Athletics Arena in Scotland.

“Training has been going really well,” said Towart. “I’ve had a problem with my sciatic nerve which has caused some discomfort, particularly in my hip and neck. I went to see a chiropractor in Gosforth and that has really helped to relieve stiffness in my neck. It has made a big difference and I feel much better.”

Towart is preparing for the New Innovation Athletics (NIA) Live event, in Dublin, which will take place later this month.

In March, Towart will head to Braga in Portugal for the Indoors European Masters.

“Competing indoors is a lot different to outdoor athletics and you have to train accordingly,” he said. “I have done some indoor speed time trails and had some very satisfying results. It has been a busy period, working hard to recover from the injury and also to get myself in the best possible shape to compete.

“But I enjoy the challenge. There’s a lot to aim for in 2020, and I want to give it a good go.”

Last February, Towart set a new world indoor hurdling record at the English Institute of Sport Northern Championship in Sheffield.

He ran the 400m hurdles in 60.80s, which smashed the previous record of 61.40 in the M40 category.

And in April, he won bronze while representing Great Britain at the World Indoor Championship in Poland.