A year on from the home Commonwealth Games, Scotland’s track and field athletes have created another feelgood factor according to scottishathletics chief executive Nigel Holl.
Scotland looks assured of at least five members of Team GB for the World Championshis in Beijing in August, with hammer thrower Dry and 5000m runner Twell having achieved second qualification standards and looking set to be named next week alongside Milnathort’s Laura Muir, Eilidh Child of Kinross and Lynsey Sharp.
Chris O’Hare could well join them and there are one or two others harbouring late selection hopes, too, ahead of an announcement by British Athletics on Tuesday.
Muir sparked a remarkable 24-hour period with her 3.58.66 run in the Diamond League in Monaco on Friday evening breaking her own Scottish National record and becoming the first Scottish woman to break the four-minute barrier.
“I think it was fair to say it was a thrilling weekend for the athletics ‘family’ in Scotland,’ said Holl.
“It started really with Laura’s fantastic run in Monaco as she became the first Scottish woman ever to break four minutes for the 1500m and just rolled on from there.
“From Loughborough to Sweden to Belgium and even at the World Youths in Colombia where three out of four Scots with GB reached finals we’ve seen some terrific performances.
“We credit the athletes and coaches involved and, as always, we know that these times and distances are not achieved overnight. There are years of hard work behind them and commitment from athletes, their coaches and their families and, often, great support from clubs.
“What I do think it does is puts markers down for others. Seb Coe spoke about ‘inspiring a generation’ when the Olympics were held in London three years ago and, remember, many of our best young athletes were still at school at that time.”
Fife’s Jack Lawrie also did his bit – finishing fourth in the European Under-20s 400m hurdles.
“At the Euro under-20s we saw Josh Kerr win gold and three other athletes finished fourth and fifth,” Holl added. They were part of a record-breaking GB performance for that European Juniors event.
“That follows on from four Scots coming home from the Euro under-23s in Estonia with medals and, of course, we’re hopeful of very strong representation at GB level for the World Champs.
“We said all along that the Scotland team at the Commonwealth Games last year had a high percentage of athletes under the age of 23 athletes like Laura Muir.
“We’re seeing a number of those mature now and there’s another wave below that in their late teens and early 20s which augurs really well, also.
Muir’s coach, Andy Young, added: “There are some exciting things happening with the 1500m at the moment by Scottish athletes.
“I think when you look back over the weekend and Laura breaking four minutes, a great PB for Chris and Josh Kerr winning the European Under-20 title, then it was probably Scotland’s best-ever weekend at that distance.
“Hopefully it inspires more athletes to keep training hard and seeking to improve.”