AS DRESS rehearsals go Eilidh Child couldn’t have asked for much more from the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix – but she admits she will need to find another gear when she returns to Hampden Park for the Commonwealth Games.
Child was getting a sneak peak of what she can expect in just over a fortnight’s time at the Commonwealth Games as she took to the Hampden Park track on Friday evening.
And she clearly liked what she saw as she not only won the 400m hurdles but did so with in a season’s best 54.39 seconds.
However, while the race featured a handful of her Commonwealth Games rivals, Jamaican and world number one Kaliese Spencer was not racing.
And while delighted with her race, Child is fully aware that she will need to turn it up another notch if she is to climb the Commonwealth Games podium on her Hampden Park return.
“I am delighted to have got that win but I think that has technically been my best race of the year,” said Child, who hopes to compete throughout the Summer Series – events proudly backed by long-term supporter Sainsbury’s.
“I just smashed my stride pattern and everything was smooth so I am just more delighted with how everything went.
“Obviously I am delighted to have won but I am more happy with how I executed the race.
“But none of the big names were there so I can’t rest on that race too much, there is still a lot that needs to be done.
“I am really confident that I will need to smash my PB to win but I have got to be happy with how things are going and if I keep running races like that then I cant be too disappointed with how it goes.
“I think when you have a bit more pressure on you it can make you raise your game and I like to think it does for me so hopefully come the Games it will help me raise my game again.”
Child could be excused for feeling the pressure ahead of the Commonwealth Games, considering she has been somewhat of a poster girl for the competition.
But after getting a taste of things to come she admits she can’t wait to get back out there in front of a fervent home crowd.
“I didn’t expect such a loud cheer at the start and the stadium wasn’t even full so to have that I just think it will be amazing in a couple of weeks at the Games,” she added. “And the track was really good and it felt really fast, and speaking to a couple of the other guys they said the same thing so it should make for a really exciting competition.”
Elsewhere for Scotland on Friday night, the 4x100m women came home seventh in 46.55 seconds while Allan Smith finished ninth in the high jump with a best clearance of 2.15m.
It was also a tough night for pole vaulter Jax Thoirs as while he cleared his opening height of 5.35m with his first effort that was as good as it got as he then failed 5.50m three times to finish joint fourth.
However the Scottish record holder is not about to throw in the towel on his Commonwealth Games medal hopes, adamant he is still in it to win it.
“5.35 is not too bad, I have not jumped as high as that in a little while so while it wasn’t a good day it was a particularly bad day either and it was just good to get out there and get a feel for it ahead of the Games,” Thoirs said.
“Hampden Park was pretty good. I had not been in the stadium since the track had been laid and it looks great.
“The crowd were absolutely brilliant and when they said I was the Scottish record holder they went crazy which was really fun so I am excited for the Games. I am from about 15 minutes down the road an di had lots of friends and family here for this and I should have loads more for the Games themselves so it will be good.
“The venue felt a lot different to the others I have competed in so I think it was good to experience that and to get a feel for it and I think it will benefit me for the Games.
“I know that it doesn’t seem like on this performance but I still think I can win, that is still the aim.
“I know if I jump well I can be in with a shout and while it will take a PB to win it I am sure I am confident I can do that.”
There is plenty for the home crowd to cheer for on the second and final day of the Sainsbury’s Grand Prix with Jayne Nisbet competing in the high jump before Eilish McColgan and Lennie Waite battle it out in the 3000m steeplechase.
And in the final race of the evening there is another Scottish tussle to excited supports as Laura Muir and Lynsey Sharp go head-to-head in the 800m.
• Sainsbury’s is proud to support British Athletics through the Summer Series events and is committed to helping young people lead healthier, more active lifestyles. For more information visit www.sainsburys.co.uk/legacy