EDINBURGH long jumper Allan Hamilton has set his sights on qualifying for the 2013 European Athletics Under-23 Championships in Finland after moving up from the under-20 age category with ease.
The 20-year-old has struggled with hamstring and groin injuries that have hampered his season, but he is confident that, when fit, he is more than a match at the last junior level before becoming a full-fledged senior.
Hamilton, who is currently recovering from a groin injury, has already shown that he can cope with the new age group after finishing fourth in the Aviva England Athletics U20/U23 Championships and World Trials in Bedford. But the Sale Harrier says he is now focusing on qualifying for next year’s European Athletics Championships in Tampere before looking towards the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
“The Commonwealth Games are a big incentive, but I am concentrating on making the 2013 European Under-23 Championships first and hopefully doing well there,” said the Queen Margaret University student. “This season has not quite gone to plan as I have had a few injuries, but I have just used it as a stepping stone for next year and I have concentrated more on my technique.
“The injuries have allowed me to focus on different aspects of my technique and I am now going to start weight training, which should help me improve a great deal.
“The step up to Under-23 has been fine and I did well in the England Athletics Championships and World Trials and I have made really good progression in training. But I jumped a personal best of 7.45m in the Scottish Championships, which is just 20cm off the qualifying standard for the Commonwealth Games, so it is definitely in the back of my mind.”
Hamilton, of Abbeyhill, says he has been glued to the Olympics and inspired by the great Team GB performances, which have left him contemplating Rio 2016.
He said: “It has been unbelievable to watch and it will only help inspire more people to pick up sport and get those with only a passing interested more involved in sports they have never heard of.
“It’s still a long way off until Rio 2016, but I can’t help but think about the possibility of competing there, especially after seeing Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford do so well.”
n Bank of Scotland Local Heroes, in partnership with SportsAid, provides support and funding to 82 of Scotland’s most talented developing athletes on their journey to London 2012 and beyond. Since 2008, the programme has supported 1000 athletes. Follow future stars at facebook.com/bankofscotlandlocalheroes