Just back from three weeks altitude training at Font Romeu in France, where he was training so hard he did not even have a break to celebrate his 21st birthday, Lasswade track star Guy Learmonth will open his outdoor season in the British Universities Championships at Bedford this weekend.
The Scottish 400 metres champion will bid for the BUCS title in his “third favourite event”, the 1500m.
But Learmonth, one of Scotland’s most exciting middle-distance prospects, will, as always, have his main focus on the 800m.
“I’m feeling very good just now but the aim this weekend is to run the 1500, make the final and be in contention, all part of the long-term plan to get me to peak form for the 800m in the European Under-23 Championships in Tampere, Finland in July.”
The Loughborough University student has already achieved the qualifying standard of 1:48.00 twice indoors since the start of 2013 – “at least that’s done and dusted,” he says – and can now concentrate on the UK Under-23 Championships and European Trials, also at Bedford on June 15 and 16.
Learmonth’s first competitive 800m will be at the Loughborough International at his home training track on Sunday, May 19 when he will not be available for selection for Scotland as Loughborough Past and Present will have first claim on his services.
Also competing in Bedford this weekend will be Edinburgh University high jumper Ray Bobrownicki, a previous champion, and Queen Margaret University long jumper Sarah Warnock, who was a bronze medallist with a personal best of 6.16m in the UK Indoor Championships in Sheffield last February.
Warnock will be competing for the first time since she picked up an injury at the BUCS Indoor Championships also at Sheffield in February and will be renewing rivalry with Jazmin Sawyer, the World junior bronze medallist from Stoke.
But Warnock’s Edinburgh AC clubmate and fellow QM student Allan Hamilton has exams and will miss the men’s event.
Another EAC member and ex-Edinburgh student, Emily Stewart, now at Newcastle, is just back from warm weather training in Portugal and competes in the 2000m steeplechase with every prospect of a medal.
Napier’s Ollie Lawson in the sprints, Donald Todd in the long jump, and Edinburgh’s Stacey Downie in the sprints, are other Capital students heading south to Bedford while 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist Tom Holligan (EAC), who is now at Aberdeen University, is also entered in the sprints.