Athletics: Six Scots included in GB squad for Helsinki
Six Scottish athletes were yesterday named in Team Great Britain for the European Championships in Finland later this month.
The pool released by UK Athletics is a provisional one with those men and women who secure automatic spots at London 2012 set to be withdrawn from the Europeans in Helsinki.
That could mean three or four of Scotland’s six missing out on Finland to prepare for London with the likes of Eilidh Child, Steph Twell and Eilish McColgan already having A standards for the Olympics. So much will hinge on the Aviva Olympic Trials in Birmingham which start this Friday and run through to Sunday as Charles van Commenee and his staff make final deliberations late next weekend.
Hammer thrower Mark Dry is named as the only man among the Scottish contingent – with the women being Child, Twell, McColgan, Lynsey Sharp and Lee McConnell. Child has been named in the 4 x 400m relay squad rather than the 400m hurdles while McConnell is named for the 400m individual and relay events.
Twell is selected for both the 1500m and the 5000m but is understood to be tackling only the longer distance on the track at Birmingham in the Olympic trials. She hasn’t made the A standard yet at 1500m.
Lynsey Sharp is one of five women named by GB for the 800m in a lineup which includes Emma Jackson, Jenny Meadows, Marilyn Okoro and Jemma Simpson. The real surprise is the omission of four Scottish men from the middle distance events with frustration the only emotion for Dave Bishop, Chris O’Hare, Kris Gauson and Guy Learmonth.
“Gutted is an understatement,” tweeted Learmonth just after the official squad announcement. In the men’s 1500m, for example, there is no Scottish representative among the five athletes named for GB – despite Bishop, O’Hare and Gauson all being ranked in a top eight currently which has Mo Farah at the summit (so effectively a top seven).
In fact, Bishop and O’Hare are both ranked higher than Tom Lancashire and James Brewer. James Shane, another Helsinki pick, hasn’t run 1500m this year and has only raced on three occasions. All of those were at other distances so Shane has no 2012 ranking for 1500m.
Learmonth is currently ranked six in Britain in the 800m with the No 5, Welshman Joe Thomas, currently sidelined injured. But Learmonth missed out as only four athletes were picked (the top four in the rankings) and a decision taken not to include a fifth.
The event in Finland takes place from June 27 to July 1 and the final team selection will be narrowed down next Monday following the Olympic trial.
Meanwhile, three young Scots have clinched places with Great Britain for the World Juniors in Barcelona next month.
Nick Percy threw a new Scottish Junior discus record of 59.53m to secure his place on the plane and the Shaftesbury Barnet athlete will be joined by Edinburgh AC’s Emily Dudgeon (800m) and Dundee Hawkhill’s Laura Muir (3000m).
There are relay places up for grabs with the contenders including Tom Holligan (Edinburgh AC), Jay Younger (Edinburgh AC), Kirsten McAslan (Sale Harriers), Diane Ramsay (Victoria Park-Glasgow), Kathryn Christie (Banchory and Stonehaven) and Zoey Clark (Aberdeen AAC). Shot putter Kirsty Yates (VP-Glasgow) could make it if she beats her PB at Birmingham this weekend by just 23cms.
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Saturday 18 May 2013
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