Athletics: Stewart smashes rival’s Scots steeplechase record

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Edinburgh University maths student Emily Stewart broke her Scottish rival Eilish McColgan’s championship record for the 2000 metres steeplechase by well over four seconds during the first meeting at London’s Olympic Stadium.

The 21-year-old clocked 6:37.49 which puts her second on the Scots all-time list for the event and first for this season. But, after leading throughout, she was deprived of the title by Birchfield Harrier Pippa Woolven, who nipped past her in the final straight to win in 6:36.60.

“My water jumps were appalling,” said Stewart, who also ran the flat 3000m yesterday but finished a little off the pace in 9:18.0.

Guy Learmonth (Lasswade) was back to winning ways in the 800m, taking both heat and semi-final, the latter in 1:52.95. Learmonth is one of a number of Scots who were today in action on the final day of the meeting of the British Universities Championships, the official Test event for the stadium in Stratford, east London.

Lynsey Sharp (EAC) won her heat of the 400m in 55.97 and clubmate Emily Dudgeon qualified for the 800m final in 2:12.84.

Another Scottish relay member, Scotland’s 400m hurdles hope Eilidh Child, battled conditions better suited to January.

Despite a strong finish she clocked a modest 57.37 but refused to blame the weather. “I got it wrong to the first hurdle,” said the Pitreavie club member in disgust. In truth there was never any chance of recording the Olympic qualifying standard with her close English rival Perri Shakes-Drayton, who already has the requisite time, probably wisely pulling out.

But US-based Scot Dave Bishop, recent conqueror of Chris O’Hare (Edinburgh) over 1500m in an Olympic B standard, won the 3000m in a fine personal best of 7:56.57.

Meanwhile, in Pavia, Italy, Capital 400m runner Jamie Bowie produced a season-leading time by winning his race in 47.32 secs.