FIVE years after missing out on what he thought would be his only chance of a podium place in the Winter Olympics, Troon man Stuart Benson is basking in some glittering success.

The 38-year-old and team-mats James Jackson, Bruce Tasker, and Joel Fearon absolutely gave their all on the unforgiving slopes of Russia in 2014 in the gruelling four-man bobsleight event, but ultimately it looked to be not good enough. They finished in fifth place, 0.11 seconds away from a medal. However two years ago a doping inquiry was launched as suspicions were raised the speed of two Russian teams in the event. Then once it was concluded the decision was upheld back in February 2018 and later rubber-stamped.

And at the Team GB Ball in London last Thursday, Princess Anne presented Stuart and his three team-mates with their gongs.

We caught up with Stuart after two days of partying on Saturday and the team’s achievements were only starting to sink in.

Stuart said: “Of course it was good when we heard we were being moved into the bronze medal position.

“But I said, just like my team-mates that I would believe it when I saw it, when the medal was hung round my neck.

“We had gone into the Winter Olympics in confident mood as we had competed very well in a race just before it.

“I would say it was a very good run and we were disappointed not to finish third and felt maybe we had not quite been good enough. But we played by the rules although we weren’t thinking that the others might not have been. However the medal is ours by merit and we deserved it.”

Added Stuart: “It was an honour to receive it from Princess Anne, who herself has competed in the Olympics and she knows what it’s like. And it was fantastic and outwith the birth of my children this really has to be one of my memorable moments.” Stuart is in the Royal Air Force, working as an avionics technician since the age of 20 He currently holds the rank of corporal.

His mum Wilma was the 2017 Troon Citizen of the Year.