Capital high jumper Allan Smith wins spot at Euro indoors

Allan Smith will compete at his second major championships
Allan Smith will compete at his second major championships
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Capital high jumper Allan Smith has been handed a place in the British team for next week’s European Indoor Championships among six Scots named in a 31-strong contingent for Belgrade.

Despite falling two centimetres short of UK Athletics’ qualifying standard of 2.28 metres, the recently-crowned British champion was handed a reprieve and will compete at his second major championships after coming 21st at the same event in Prague two years ago.

“I see no reason to believe I couldn’t do well,” said the 24-year-old from South Queensferry. “It’s just been a bit harder with our standards being tougher than the ones set by European Athletics.”

As expected, medal favourite Laura Muir’s request to double up over 1500 and 3000m has been granted after setting two European records already in 2017 with fellow Scot Eilish McColgan joining her in the line-up over both distances.

Pitreavie’s past European gold medallist Eilidh Doyle will also get two shots at glory in the 400m and 4x400m relay with Steph Twell (3000m) and Lasswade AC’s Guy Learmonth (800m) completing the Scottish contingent.

“I’m pleased with the blend of this team,” UK Athletics performance director Neil Black said. “We’ve got Olympic medallists in Robbie Grabarz, Eilidh Doyle and Asha Philip; World indoor medallists in Lorraine Ugen and Richard Kilty, as well as exceptionally talented athletes like Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Laura Muir and Andrew Pozzi, all of whom I expect to make the step up this year and start winning global medals.

“Then we have Jazmin Sawyers, Steph Twell and Lee Emanuel, all European medallists who should be looking to make a statement of intent for 2017 by repeating those performances and finishing on the podium in Belgrade.”