Atheltics: Learmonth quick off the blocks with Istanbul the target

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Lasswade’s Guy Learmonth will head for Vienna tomorrow week chasing a fast 800m time as he bids to win selection for the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul in March.

Learmonth won the event in 1min 51.03sec, his fastest ever start to the season, at the Scottish National Open Indoor Championships at the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow, on Saturday.

Despite a half-hour delay before the race got under way, the 19-year-old Loughborough University student quickly took the lead and sped to an easy win more than three seconds clear of nearest rival Grant Muir (Giffnock).

“That’s brilliant – I’m delighted with that,” said Learmonth, who will be looking to get near his best time of 1.48.58 in Austria.

“I need to take half a second off my personal best to get the World qualifying time,” added Learmonth, who will turn down the chance to represent Scotland in a Celtic Nations match in Cardiff next Sunday to concentrate on the Austrian invitation meeting.

Former Great Britain star and Edinburgh-based Allan Scott beat his old rival and former training partner Chris Baillie (Glasgow) in his comeback race over 60m hurdles, winning in 7.85sec, but then withdrew from a second race with a groin strain.

Another athlete on the comeback trail, Nony Mordi, won the triple jump with a leap of 12.76 metres but still has some way to go to reach full fitness, while EAC long jumper Allan Hamilton took that event with a leap of 6.97m in his first serious competition since incurring injury last summer.

Capital milers Kris Gauson and Chris O’Hare continue to progress in the US as they build towards the bigger meetings.

Gauson slashed 20 seconds off his best 3,000m time in finishing third in a race in Indianapolis in 8.01.4 and is aiming towards the UK Indoors at Sheffield next month.

O’Hare won an 800m in Oklahoma in 1.52.6.

Gregor Maclean broke the Scottish indoor pole vault record by 3cms in a meeting in France where he cleared 5.19m, and new British women’s record holder Holly Bleasdale cleared 4.87m at the same meeting.