EDINBURGH’S Lynsey Sharp (Edinburgh AC) could be named tomorrow for the 800 metres in the Great British team for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg from March 1 to 3 – if she wants to go.
Something of a reluctant when it comes to indoor running but keen to go through her paces for new coach Terence Mahon, Sharp slashed another two seconds off her best in finishing third behind Olympic bronze medallist Ekaterina Poistogova (Russia) and returning English favourite Jenny Meadows (Wigan) in the Birmingham Games at the National Indoor Arena on Saturday.
Her time of 2:03.07, a qualifying time for Sweden, lifts the 22-year-old Napier University law graduate into second place on the Scottish all-time indoor rankings behind Susan Scott, but Sharp, who was poised on Meadows’ shoulder coming off the final bend but could not find a way past, was not satisfied: “I’m not really happy with it. I know I’m in better shape than that. It’s only my second race back but I’ve got to be more aggressive. Outdoors I can sit at the back and work my way through and it was ok in the summer as I’d have a second kick but I just don’t have that now.” Sharp, now based in Loughbrough, explained: “I started lifting weights a couple of weeks ago so I can’t expect everything.”
She was one of five Scots who set encouraging personal indoor bests at the prestigious meeting. For the second week in a row Eilidh Child (Pitreavie) broke the Scottish National 400 metres record, hacking her best down by half a second to a remarkable 51.50 seconds, compared to her outdoor best of 52.20. Though she was beaten by her great 400m hurdles rival and GB team-mate Perri Shakes-Drayton (51.37), who in turn trailed US star Natasha Hastings (50.88), Child was far from dismayed: “I’m delighted with the time,” she said, acknowledging that it bodes well for her return to the barriers outdoors as well as for Britain’s medal chances in Gothenburg – individual and relay.
Allison Curbishley, Lee McConnell, her former clubmate Linsey MacDonald and Mel Neef are the only Scots to have bettered 51.50 outdoors. Guy Learmonth (Lasswade) may not have clinched his place in the European Indoors but he strengthened his claim for the future, carving half a second off his best in the 800m to finish fifth in 1:47.41 ahead of UK Trials winner Joe Thomas.
He was behind three other Brits all of whom achieved the qualifying time, as did sixth-placed Thomas. Michael Rimmer was the surprise winner in 1:46.55, Abubaker Kaki of Sudan was second a fraction ahead of Britain’s Muhktar Mohammed, who must have clinched his Gothenburg place. Olympic finalist Andrew Osagie was fourth in 1:46.97.
Emily Stewart (EAC) broke nine minutes for the first time indoors or out when she placed seventh in the 3000m in a Scottish Under-23 best of 8:59.38 which is also fifth on the Scottish all-time list just behind Eilish McColgan (Dundee) who was fifth in 8:53.17 for third on the all-time list.
Though he reached the final by finishing second in his heat in 7.75sec, Capital 60m hurdler Allan Scott was disappointed with his sixth-place in 7.74sec and flew back to contest the Scottish title at the Emirates Arena yesterday morning, winning easily in 7.81sec.
Allan Smith could manage only 2.15m at Birmingham but also came back to take the Scottish high jump title with a 2.20m leap with Ray Bobrownicki (Edinburgh University) second with 2.15m.
Jayne Nisbet cleared a season’s best of 1.80m to win the women’s title and there was a fine women’s long jump battle with Jade Nimmo (6.16m) outleaping Capital pair Sarah Warnock (6.04m) and Lisa Ferguson (6.01m); Ferguson having earlier set a personal best of 7.70sec in the 60m sprint.