Athletics: Scots give youth big chance in Glasgow

Edinburgh AC teenager Cameron Tindle will run for Scotland in the men's 60m. Picture: Bobby Gavin
Edinburgh AC teenager Cameron Tindle will run for Scotland in the men's 60m. Picture: Bobby Gavin
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Scotland have handed a youthful team the chance to impress when they take on Great Britain and Northern Ireland, France and Germany in the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International at the Emirates Arena on Saturday.

The 22-strong squad features two teenagers and also includes nine athletes who appeared at the Commonwealth Games.

The remaining slots were confirmed following the National Open last weekend with 16-year-old Cameron Tindle of Edinburgh AC winning a place in the men’s 60m while Myles Edwards was selected for the 1,500m.

Aberdeen AAC’s Kelsey Stewart, another teenager, makes the 4 x400m relay squad while Josephine Moultrie – who recorded the 1,500m qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games on one occasion – steps into the metric mile race at the Emirates.

With the likes of Guy Learmonth and Jamie Bowie already confirmed, anticipation is growing for what will only be Scotland’s second appearance at the long-standing Glasgow fixture as a team following a first outing last January. Kirsten McAslan, Sarah Warnock, Ray Bobrownicki, Diane Ramsay, Greg Louden, Grant Plenderleith and Zoey Clark are the others with Glasgow 2014 experience.

It is a huge opportunity for some emerging Scottish talent to gain experience at international level in a four-nation match and Rodger Harkins, scottishathletics director of coaching, hopes it will bring the best out of the home athletes.

“I see Saturday as a real opportunity for athletes to gain experience at this kind of level,” said Harkins. “We don’t compete all that often as a Scotland team internationally other than the Commonwealth Games, which of course only comes around once in a four-year cycle.

“So we have to look to take advantage of an event like the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International and see if people can come up with a personal best or a season’s best via the platform of competing against top athletes from big countries like Germany and France. Yes, we’ve a couple of teenagers in there but those promising youngsters have merited selection. We’ve also already seen some very good indoor performances by Scottish athletes this winter so that gives some of them something to try and improve on come Saturday.

“For the athletics public in Scotland, I think it is a good opportunity to see people they know from our clubs and from national events competing in an international context. That should be exciting as we take on three strong countries in GB, France and Germany.”

World indoor champion Richard Kilty has been named in the GB team to compete over 60 metres in his first indoor outing since landing global gold in Poland last March. A young British team will be captained by 400m runner Conrad Williams, while Chris Tomlinson goes in the long jump and Jessica Judd over 1,500m.

Scotland squad (Men) 60m: Cameron Tindle; 400m: Jamie Bowie 800m: Guy Learmonth; 1,500m: Myles Edwards; 60mH: David Feeney; High Jump: Ray Bobrownicki; Long Jump: Peter Muirhead; Pole Vault: Sam Adams; 4x400m Men: Grant Plenderleith, Greg Louden, David Martin, Pat Swan, Elliot Heath. (Women) 60m: Kathryn Christie; 400m: Kirsten McAslan 800m: Katy Brown; 1500m: Josephine Moultrie 60mH: Hazel Ross Long Jump: Sarah Warnock; 4x400m Women: Kirsten McAslan, Diane Ramsay, Zoey Clark, Kelsey Stewart, Kathryn Christie.

• Five Russian race walkers, including three Olympic champions, have been handed doping bans, the country’s anti-doping agency has announced.

Sergey Kirdyapkin, who took gold in the 50 kilometres walk at London 2012, has been banned for three years and two months. His suspension has been backdated to October 2012, meaning he will be eligible to compete at the Rio Olympics in 2016.

Kaniskina Olga, who took 20km gold in Beijing in 2008, received the same ban, while Sergey Bakulin, the 50km champion from the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, was banned for three years and two months, backdated to December 2012. Valeriy Borchin, the 2008 Olympic 20km champion, has been banned for eight years and Vladimir Kanaykin for life.

The Russian anti-doping agency said that the bans were handed down because of abnormalities in the athletes’ biological passports. No Olympic medals will be affected by the bans, although five World Championship golds from 2009 and 2011 could be reallocated.