Lynsey Sharp believes she is back to her medal-winning best after 18 months of trials and tribulations which put her to the test.
The Capital star, 28, kicks off her bid for a second European title in Berlin today in the heats of the 800 metres with her prime form rediscovered at just the right time.
There has been ups and downs, she admits, with the painful low of crashing out in the first round of the Commonwealth Games and early season results which put her place at the Euros in serious doubt.
But it’s nothing compared to 2017, Sharp revealed, when the fire of old wasn’t sparking as it should.
“I struggled a lot more last year in terms of the mental side of things,” she said. “Coming off an Olympic year, it was quite hard, going straight into a worlds at home. But this season, I’m as hungry as ever. I’m just waiting for the training to catch up a bit.”
Better late than never, with the Edinburgh AC ace breaking the two-minute mark twice in ten days last month at the Diamond League meetings in Rabat and London – enough to persuade the selectors to send her to the German capital, even after finishing only fifth at the British trials.
With fellow Scot Laura Muir controversially turning down an 800m spot, it means Sharp goes in ranked second but convinced there is even quicker times to come.
“I’m still a bit off,” she said. “It’s all about getting into right races, into Monaco or Paris. It’s hard to get into those when you don’t come out flying in the first half of the season. But in terms of European rankings, I’m right up there and going forward in the right direction. Hopefully I can be in the mix.”
Since her last outing, Sharp has rolled back time by coming back home for her final preparations. With Meadowbank shut, it meant hopping across the Forth to Pitreavie to put in the last few tweaks in her plans.
Even with the sun shining, it’s still a world away from her new base in San Diego where her coach Terrence Mahon has relocated.
“It’s a really different kind of approach but it’s a good fit,” she said. “It has taken time to get used to it. I’m really enjoying it. Life is very different out there. Maybe it has taken some time to figure things out there but I’m feeling really positive about the next few years.
“It’s two years out from Tokyo and I’ve had to do some things this year for long-term planning. Now we know certain things which do work and some which don’t.”
Also on the first full day of the championships, Pitreavie’s Eilidh Doyle kicks off her bid for a second European title of her own in the 400m hurdles, along with Kirsten McAslan.
But come Friday, does Sharp think that she can be a golden girl again, six years after her last major title?
“100 per cent,” she said. “I’m definitely capable.”