AS their sensational seasons draw to a conclusion, there is yet more reason for celebration for Scotland’s track heroines Eilidh Child (Pitreavie) and Lynsey Sharp (Edinburgh AC).
On top of their double medal success at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships, they have both reached their Diamond League event finals in Brussels tonight and yesterday they heard that they had been selected by Europe for the IAAF Inter-Continental Cup in Marrakech, the only Scots to be included.
Though the International Federation is coy about the actual sums spent on attracting athletes to their gala events there is little doubt that all those competing tonight will be handsomely rewarded and will receive the official prize money or even diamond trophies for the top ones.
Child has already accumulated $18,000 (£11,000) from her three third places and one second place in the Diamond League 400 metres hurdles races so far, with $10,000 going to a winner, $6000 to the runners-up and $4000 for third so a repeat of her performance in Stockholm would earn her another $6000, assuming the Commonwealth champion Jamaican Kaliese Spencer wins again.
Sharp has only competed in one Diamond League 800m but she won that race in Birmingham she won, earning $10,000. Though fatigue will be a factor, the chance to recoup some earnings, which have been cut by many thousands on her sport, will be ample motivation.
Child has never competed so late in the season before but, while the extra cash will come in handy, she says her reason is more to do with next year’s World Championships in Beijing. “I’ve been experimenting with a new stride pattern which I want to perfect for next year and that’s really keeping me motivated,” she said.
Double England Under-17 800m and 1500m champion Josh Kerr is one of seven EAC members who were due to compete in the UK School Games in Gateshead today before going on to help their club in the National Young Athletes League finals in Birmingham this weekend.
World junior hammer finalist Kimberley Reed, high jumper Robert Ferguson and Morro Bajo are in the under-20 team.