Athletics: Stewart cuts two seconds off best time

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Despite having to push from the front due to some poor pace-making, Emily Stewart (Edinburgh AC) cut her best time for the 1500 metres by another two seconds to 4:16.91 in a British Milers Club Grand Prix meeting at Stretford on Saturday night.

The 20-year-old Edinburgh University student finished third in a race won by Anglo Scot Amy McDonald in four minutes 15.27 seconds with former EAC runner Sarah Hood fifth in another best of 4:18.81.

Stewart, a bronze medallist in the recent UK Championships at Birmingham, gets her chance to test herself again against Britain’s best steeplechasers in the London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on Saturday with Dundee’s Eilish McColgan, one of the four Scots picked for Team GB for the Olympics and British steeplechase record-holder Barbara Parker both down to compete.

Parker clocked 9:37.41 in the Diamond League meeting in Paris on Friday night compared with her British best of 9:24.24 set in Eugene, Oregon last month.

McColgan improved her own Scottish record to 9:38.45 in the Oslo Diamond League last month while Stewart, whose best is 10:02.63, will be looking to dip under ten minutes for the first time.

Capital physio Ali Hay was another in form at the weekend setting a season’s best of 3:44.09 for 1500m, his fastest since knee surgery last year.

Hay was competing in Heusden in Belgium where in other races Kris Gauson (EAC) was eighth in the B 1500 in 3:44.18 and Anglo Scot David 
Bishop 11th in the A race in 3:39.18.

Also there was Dunfermline’s Gemma Nicol, who competed for Scotland in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and set a new best of 53.20 seconds for 400m behind three of Britain’s 4x400m relay squad, Shana Cox (52.46), Marilyn Okoro (52.67) and Nicola Sanders (52.69).

Okoro, a controversial omission from the 800m in the GB Olympic team, who apparently unsuccessfully appealed, then went on to act as pacemaker for Pamela Jelimo in the 800m, the Kenyan setting a world-leading time of 1:56.76.