Commonwealth Games 800 metres finalist Guy Learmonth (Lasswade AC) leads a posse of Scotland medal prospects to the Sainsbury’s British Indoor Championships at the English Institute of Sport at Sheffield this weekend.
Learmonth, who is hoping to clinch an automatic place in the 800m for the Euopean Indoor Championships in Prague next month, needs a qualifying time below 1:48.00, which he just missed in Poland recently, and needs to finish in the first two which should be well within his scope. “I’m feeling good and ready to go,” he said.
His main UK opponent, Sheffield’s Andrew Osagie, has opted out of the race and may not even run the 400 metres due to an injury niggle. Lynsey Sharp and Chris O’Hare (both Edinburgh AC) and Glasgow 2014 Scotland team captain Eilidh Child (Pitreavie) are not racing in South Yorkshire.
Child has decided to give the indoor season a miss after her stellar achievements last year, including a 400m hurdles silver at Hampden and gold in the Europeans, and concentrate on her build-up for the World Championships in Beijing in August. Sharp, who courageously won 800m silver in Glasgow after battling back from injury, does not like indoor racing.
O’Hare, now based in Boston, decided against a double commute of the Atlantic for this and the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix meeting next week.
But he does run in the Millrose Indoor Games in New York tomorrow when US and former Kenyan legend Bernard Lagat (40) bids for his ninth win in ten attempts.
Jumpers form a big part of the Scottish challenge in Sheffield, with new Scottish Native record-holders at 2.25m, Allan and David Smith, joined by Ray Bobrownicki (EU), whose best is 2.28m. EAC’s Sarah Warnock, who posted a recent indoor long jump best of 6.21m, bids for the UK title along with clubmate Gillian Cooke.