OLYMPIC running star Lynsey Sharp has quit the Capital to train in England, just weeks after launching a blistering attack on the state of facilities at Meadowbank.
The 22-year-old hit the headlines last month when she was frozen out of Meadowbank for “health and safety” reasons.
Now the 800 metres runner says she will be training at the UK athletics centre in Loughborough, Leicestershire.
Her decision came after she parted with long-time coach Dave Sunderland and moved to American Terrence Mahon, who has taken over as British Athletics endurance coach.
That means she will be able to train in a group, but she said the poor state of her home stadium also played a part.
She said: “There are a number of factors, but the Meadowbank situation is one. Facilities are quite an important issue.”
Sharp reached the semi-finals of the women’s 800m at London 2012. She said she believed Meadowbank was making improvements following her criticism last month.
That came after she tried to train at the stadium only to be told the groundsman was off and to come back later. When she returned, she was told she could not use the 400m outdoor track as it was icy – and could not use the grass in the middle as she’d have to cross a potentially slippy stretch.
Ms Sharp said: “I’m going to be splitting my time between Loughborough and Edinburgh. I’m still going to be home a fair bit. I love Edinburgh and my family are here. I’ll still use it when I’m back – I don’t really have another option.”
She had been training in Edinburgh four times a week.
But she said she understood the situation had improved.
She said: “I’ve been away in Kenya for the last three weeks, but I have heard things have been getting better. Someone told me that when it was snowing recently the track was open, which it wouldn’t normally have been, so maybe they are slowly listening.”
Councillor Richard Lewis, culture and sport convener, said: “I am sorry to hear about Lynsey’s decision and can fully respect her wish to seek out the best possible facilities to enable her to succeed at this time.”
IN FAST LANE
2007, World Youth Championships, Czech Republic: 4th, 800m,
2 minutes, 11.36 seconds;
2008, World Junior Championships, Poland: 6th, 800m, 2:09.00;
2008, Commonwealth Youth Games, India: 3rd, 800m, 2:06.77;
2011, European Under-23 Championships, Czech Republic: 3rd, 800m, 2:00.65;
2012, European Championships, Helsinki: 2nd, 800m, 2:00.52;
2012 Olympic Games, London: 7th, 800m, 2:01.78.
Voted Athlete of the Year at the Scottish Athletics awards in 2011 and 2012.