Dual target for Lynsey Sharp in Birmingham

Lynsey Sharp is aiming to improve her personal best this weekend. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Lynsey Sharp is aiming to improve her personal best this weekend. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

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Capital 800 metres star Lynsey Sharp (Edinburgh AC) will have a double incentive to excel at the British Championships at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham this weekend.

With the burden of Commonwealth Games selection lifted, one target will be to maintain her build-up towards the event by possibly cutting her time down again from the fine new personal best of 2:00.09 she achieved at Hengelo recently.

But equally important will be to finish in the first two in Sunday’s final to guarantee her place in the British team for the European Championships in Zurich in August, with the time not important given she has already beaten the GB European qualifying standard of 2:00.50.

That would mean the 23-year-old Napier University law graduate could defend the title she won by default in Helsinki in 2012 when she was beaten into second place by a Russian drugs cheat who was subsequently disqualified.

As in 2012, the women’s 800 is once again shaping up as one of the most competitive and intriguing events of the summer and Sharp is ranked second behind the precocious English teenager Jessica Judd (1:59.77) with her 2012 Olympic place rival Wigan’s Jenny Meadows third-ranked on 2:00.51 and fractionally short of the standard so likely to set a fast pace.

Sharp’s Glasgow 2014 Scottish teammate Laura Muir is fourth ranked on her indoor time of 2:00.80 but might opt for the 1500m this weekend.

Provided he has recovered from the hamstring problem he suffered in the Oslo Diamond League meeting Chris O’Hare (EAC) in the men’s 1500m is one of several Glasgow picks down to defend their titles,