Great Britain and Northern Ireland captain Eilidh Child intends to lead from the front at this weekend’s World Indoor Athletics Championships in Sopot, Poland.
“I really want to come away with another medal,” says Child, one of four Scots in the team and the one most likely to mount the rostrum.
Last year the Kinross PE teacher won a gold and silver medal in the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg but there will be no medal double this time.
The 27-year-old Scottish Commonwealth Games 400 metres hurdles choice has decided against the individual indoor 400 metres, citing a month’s loss of training, but she is still desperate to help Team GB repeat their European 4 x 400 metres win and World Indoor success of two years ago in Istanbul.
“We’ve got a really good squad and we’re the defending champions but it’s not going to be easy as both the Americans and the Russians have got really good squads,” said Child, who goes into action in tomorrow’s relay heats.
Olympic and World 400 metres champion Christine Ohuruogu is due to make her season’s debut and also there from the last squad is Shana Cox who, along with Margaret Adeoye, will contest the individual event as well.
Edinburgh-based Jamie Bowie is in the strange position of being good enough to have been picked for the men’s 4 x 400 metres relay squad for both last year’s outdoor World Championships in Moscow and the indoor in Sopot, yet has not been named for Glasgow 2014 because he has not attained the tough individual qualifying standard. A personal best indoors this winter of 46.58 should mean that Bowie, who clocked a flying leg of 44.62 secs in Moscow last year but was still controversially left out of the GB quartet for the final, at least gets an outing in the heats tomorrow. That would mean Scotland would have four competitors actually taking part, one more than their previous best representation.
Scotland’s two middle distance stars will both be in action when the event gets under way today, with Chris O’Hare (Edinburgh AC) first in the men’s 1500 metres heats and Laura Muir (Dundee Hawkhill) going later in the 800 metres heats.
O’Hare, having placed second in the trials, clinched his place in the team with an outstanding time of 3:54.66 in the Wannamaker Mile in New York last month. The former Peebles High pupil will be keen to erase the memory of his debut appearance in the World Outdoor Championships in Moscow last August when he fought through two tough rounds only to run out of steam in the final, coming in at the back of the field.
Muir, reared just along the road from Child in Milnathort, has been the relevation of the indoor season, setting Scottish indoor records over both 800m and 1500m. Opting for the shorter event this time, she might well break two minutes for the first time and may have to do that just to reach the final: “At the moment I’m focussing on getting through the heat – I’ll think about the final when it comes,” said the 20-year-old Glasgow University vet medicine student.
Muir clocked 2:.00.94 at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow in the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix last January to put her among the main contenders, not one of whom has broken two minutes this season.
Her main rivals may be the first two in the recent US Championships Ajee Wilson (2:00.43) or Chanelle Price (2:00.48) or the Polish indoor champion Angelika Cichocha (2:01.14). But the Russians will not be far away either.