Athletics: Capital athletes converge on Cardiff in search of glory

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Outdoors and indoors, Cardiff is the focus of much attention from Capital athletes this weekend.

With snow forecast, Emily Stewart, Sarah Inglis and Sarah Potter (all Edinburgh University) compete in what could be a tough British Universities Cross Country Championships.

Several British internationalists, led by Steph Twell’s Aldershot clubmate Charlotte Purdue (St Mary’s), are among the hundreds of entries from north and south of the Border chasing places in the World Student Cross in Poland.

Bizarrely, the Edinburgh athletes competing indoors in the McCain City Challenge in the Welsh capital will do so for the so-called Glasgow Cobras, or, in the case of high jumper Alan Smith, for Newcastle Falcons.

Allan Hamilton (long jump), Jayne Nisbett (high jump), Kathryn Evans (800 metres) and Stacey Downie (60 metres) are all named, as is Lasswade’s Guy Learmonth who will have Cardiff’s Joe Thomas in his sights as he contests the 800 metres.

Learmonth, whose target is to get nearer the World Indoor qualifying time of 1:48.00, will be hoping that Thomas, one of his main rivals for a place, does not pull out, as has been rumoured.

To the frustration of Learmonth, the Welshman was in a different race in Vienna last Tuesday, where he again recorded the standard, while Learmonth clocked a season’s best 1:49.52.

Another Scot with strong Edinburgh connections, Kirsten McAslan, competes in the 400 metres in Cardiff, bidding to beat 54 seconds indoors for the first time.

Still only 18, she has a best this winter of 54.35, third fastest in Britain.