With scarcely time to draw breath, several of Scotland’s Commonwealth Games athletics heroes will move on to the European Championships in Zurich tomorrow week in search of further fame and precious metal if not fortune.
Scotland’s track silver medallists Eilidh Child (Pitreavie) and Lynsey Sharp (Edinburgh AC) will be anxious to go one step higher up the podium than they did at Glasgow 2014 and both will be in action in their heats on the second day.
The task may well be harder for defending champion Sharp, particularly in view of the health problems she suffered prior to her 800 metres triumph at Hampden Park last Friday night.
But provided she has fully recovered from the sickness bug and subsequent dehydration she endured only a few hours before the final, there is no reason why the 24-year-old should not repeat her triumph of Helsinki in 2012 where she was beaten only by a subsequently disqualified drugs cheat.
Revealing that she is still being troubled by the ankle injury which necessitated surgery last April, Sharp insisted that she would defer another operation until September.
Child may well go into the Europeans as fastest on paper this season but will surely want to improve on her Scottish record of 54.22 secs which the weather may have prevented her doing in Glasgow.
Capital middle distance star Chris O’Hare, who ran a brave but ultimately unrewarded 1500m final on Saturday night to finish a respectable sixth, is determined to get among the medals in Switzerland.
“I knew that coming into Glasgow I was going to have to be brave and give it everything I’ve got, dig down deep and give the last 200m everything but I didn’t quite have it in the last 50 metres,” he said.
“I came off the bend and thought ‘I can get a medal here if I keep working’ but maybe that’s a bit naive.
“For me right now I’m in a learning phase and the upswing – I just need to keep doing what I’m doing and giving it everything I’ve got.”
Club-mate Jake Wightman was also picked for Zurich, but there must be some doubt about his going now given the injury problem he sustained in his 1500m heat behind O’Hare.
Another Capital success story came in the men’s 4 x 400m relay where, after breaking the Scottish national record in their heat, Scotland, led by Jamie Bowie and also including Lasswade’s Greg Louden, only narrowly missed improving it again in much poorer conditions.
“To put us four on paper and you might not expect that performance – you might not have expected a final place but to be not just top eight but to finish fifth showed we wanted that and we enjoyed every second of it,” said Bowie, the East Lothian Athletics Development Officer, who twice had the fastest individual split for his 400m leg, clocking 45 secs flat in the heat and 45.21 in the final.
“To do it in front of a home crowd is unbelievable – there’s three of us too who will probably go on to the Gold Coast in 2018.”
Robertson led off in 47.1, Grant Plenderleith ran a superb second leg in 45.8, and Louden came home in an equally impressive 45.97. Bowie had the second fastest split of the entire British contingent with only England’s gold medal anchor Matthew Hudson-Smith faster.
But Inverness Harrier Bowie, who ran for Britain in the European Indoor Championships in Sopot, has been overlooked for Zurich.
Milnathort’s Laura Muir, like Child and Sharp, was hotly tipped for a medal but did not have such a happy Games, trailing in at the back of the 1500m field after being tripped.
For her, Zurich could present the chance of redemption and a chance to dip under four minutes for the first time and improve her Scottish record.
If she does, she could well be in the medals.