Scottish athletes are celebrating their biggest Team GB representation for 30 years after seven were named in the Great Britain team for the World Championships in Moscow next month.
It matches the record number selected in 1983 when the event was first held in Helsinki and the sport in this country enjoyed the golden era of Allan Wells, Yvonne Murray and Liz McColgan. Now there is a new generation emerging with the seven forming a significant slice of Team GB’s 60-strong squad for Russia and more than double the three athletes picked for World Championships in 2011 and 2009.
Heading to Russia are: Eilidh Child, Eilish McColgan, Laura Muir, Susan Partridge, Kirsten McAslan, Chris O’Hare and Jamie Bowie.
With next week marking a year to go to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the inclusions came hard on the heels of a 14-medal haul at the British Championships in Birmingham last weekend which was the best overall Scottish performance in that event for 25 years. “There have been a lot of encouraging signs over the last few months and this is another huge boost for everyone connected with athletics in Scotland,” said Scottishathletics director of coaching, Stephen Maguire.
“We’ve been talking about a lot of potential and now we are seeing that being translated into performances and this kind of representation in a senior GB team for a World Championships. We had two medals at the Euro Under-23s in Finland last weekend, too.”
Olympian Child will attend the World Championships for the third time in her career after being in Berlin and Daegu, as she was named for 400 metres hurdles and the 4x400m relay.
British champion McColgan – Liz’s daughter – will compete in the 3,000m steeplechase while Partridge, the best British woman finisher in the London Marathon, was already assured of her place for Moscow. Partridge was 24th in the marathon in Daegu two years ago.
But the real bonus came with four young athletes named for their first experience of major championships at senior level in O’Hare (1500m), Muir (800m), Bowie (4x400m relay) and McAslan (4x400m relay).
Veterinary medicine student Muir for her part completes a hat-trick in terms of track championships after competing at 3000m at the World Juniors last summer and the Euro Under-23s at 1500m last weekend, where she won a bronze medal. Now the 20-year-old Dundee Hawkhill athlete will be in the 800m alongside top English prospect Jessica Judd.
O’Hare wins his reward for a recent 3.35 British rankings leading run at 1500m as well as his title win at the Alexander Stadium on Saturday. The Tulsa University student was quickly on Twitter to thank family and friends. “It is official – I am in the team for the World Championships in Moscow,” said the 22-year-old, who came through the ranks with Edinburgh AC. “Huge thank you to everyone who has helped get me here. West Linton Cross Country is where I learned my trade!’
Bowie, from Inverness Harriers, works in athletics with East Lothian Council and recorded two PBs in three days at the British Champs. He has a relay gold medal from Euro Under-23s two years ago.
Manchester-based McAslan is not yet 20 but is steeped in the sport with her mother, uncle and grandfather all having represented Scotland in track and field.
The only disappointment from a Scottish perspective was Steph Twell’s omission. The 5,000m British champion had a B standard but was left out with nobody picked for that event for women. Twell missed the Olympics through injury and was dropped from central UK funding. It is likely she will now compete at the Scottish championships in Glasgow on the same weekend – 10-11 August.
Elsewhere in the team, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey has been chosen ahead of Adam Gemili for the third and final 100 metres spot. Aikines-Aryeetey finished second to Dwain Chambers in Birmingham in an ‘A’ standard qualifying time of 10.08 seconds, while Gemili failed to get the standard in winning gold at the European Under-23 Championships in Finland. Gemili, the reigning world junior champion, will instead go over 200m.
There is no place, though, for Holly Bleasdale, the European indoor pole vault champion, who has been struggling with injury.
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill is, as expected, included in the 60-strong team, despite her ankle injury.
100m: Harry Aikines Aryeetey, Dwain Chambers, James Dasaolu.
200m: James Ellington, Adam Gemili, Delano Williams.
400m: Nigel Levine.
800m: Andrew Osagie, Michael Rimmer
1500m: Chris O’Hare.
5000m: Mo Farah
10,000m: Mo Farah
110m hurdles: William Sharman
400m hurdles: Dai Greene, Sebastian Rodger, Rhys Williams.
3000m steeplechase: James Wilkinson
Long jump: TBA
High jump: Robbie Grabarz
Pole vault: Steve Lewis
Discus throw: Brett Morse
Decathlon: Ashley Bryant
4x100m: Aikines Aryeetey, Chambers, Dasaolu, Ellington, Gemili, Richard Kilty, Andrew Robertson, Deji Tobais
4x400m: Michael Bingham, Jamie Bowie , Luke Lennon Ford, Nigel Levine, Martyn Rooney, Conrad Williams, Delano Williams (Harrison)
100m: Asha Philip.
200m: Anyika Onuora, Jodie Williams
400m: Christine Ohuruogu.
800m: Jessica Judd, Laura Muir, Marilyn Okoro.
1500m: Hannah England, Laura Weightman
100m hurdles: Tiffany Porter
400m hurdles: Meghan Beesley, Eilidh Child, Perri Shakes Drayton.
3000m steeplechase: Eilish McColgan.
Long jump: Shara Proctor, Lorraine Ugen
Hammer throw: Sophie Hitchon.
Heptathlon: Jessica Ennis-Hill, Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
Marathon (selected in April): Sonia Samuels, Susan Partridge.
4x100m: Asha Philip, Hayley Jones, Annabelle Lewis, Ashleigh Nelson, Bianca Williams, Dina Asher Smith; Jodie Williams
4x400m: Margaret Adeoye, Eilidh Child, Shana Cox, Kirsten McAslan, Kelly Massey, Christine Ohuruogu, Victoria Ohuruogu, Onuora, Shakes Drayton.