Lasswade’s Guy Learmonth will head for Poland a week tomorrow to try to secure the 800 metres qualifying time for the European Indoor Championships in Prague in March.
The mark he requires is 1:48.00 and the meeting he has chosen is the Torun Cup in Bydgoszcz where the field is expected to include the World-renowned Polish runners Marcin Lewandowski and Adam Kszczot.
Learmonth’s time of 1:48.59 in the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International at the Emirates Arena on Saturday , where he chased home the German Robin Schembera (1:41.41), was his fastest start to the season, but he was annoyed that he had allowed too big a gap to develop after Glasgow Caledonian student James Bowness, competing for GB & NI, had led through the opening laps.
He said: “I didn’t want to run like that, I wanted to get to the front, but I was too slow over the first 50 and then the gameplan changed and it became one of those burn-ups over the last two laps. That’s what it’s going to be like in Prague and I need to practise and get experience of them.”
It was a busy day for Learmonth’s coach Henry Gray, who was also in charge of Cameron Tindle (Edinburgh AC) who made his senior debut in the 60 metres sprint.
And nerve-wracking it was for the 16-year-old Berwick Academy schoolboy who was born in Galashiels and has opted for Scotland.
First there was a faulty start when a child shouted out just as the runners were on their marks and the field of four were shown a green card.
Then in the next lane to Tindle, World Indoor champion Richard Kilty was disqualified when he twitched noticeably on his blocks and set off one of the other runners.
Finally, with a gap next to him where Kilty had been, Tindle got off to an over-cautious start of over .2 sec and did well to recover and post a personal best of 6.92 secs for third place behind two speedy senior runners. with Germany’s Christian Blum a former winner of the event with a best of 6.56 secs.
In the coming weeks, Tindle will probably now concentrate on his own age group which is actually under-20 though he is not yet 17.
He was not the fastest Scot in action at the weekend. That honour belonged to his clubmate Allan Hamilton who clocked 6.90 competing in the USA, though if that time is converted to allow for the benefit of altitude – he is currently studying at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque – the times will probably be the same.
Hamilton also long-jumped 7.69m, his third best ever.
Another John Scott-coached long jumper, Sarah Warnock (EAC), was disappointed with her jump of 6.18m in the Sainsbury’s International which was just below her indoor best of 6.20m and placed her fourth, while clubmate Gillian Cooke reached a season’s best jump of 6.11m and 7.66 for 60m in the Welsh Championships.