Laura Muir in Scotland team for Glasgow 2014

Team Scotland at the People's Palace in Glasgow Green. Picture: Robert Perry
Team Scotland at the People's Palace in Glasgow Green. Picture: Robert Perry
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Middle-distance runner Laura Muir has targeted further major improvement ahead of the Commonwealth Games after her unexpected success in 2013 saw her named in Scotland’s squad.

Muir was one of the first 27 athletes to be named in the host nation’s pool for the Games with just over 300 days to go before the Glasgow event kicks off.

Marathon runner Derek Hawkins. Picture: Robert Perry

Marathon runner Derek Hawkins. Picture: Robert Perry

The 20-year-old was confirmed as running the 1500 metres but also hopes to secure a place in Scotland’s 800m team too following an exceptional season.

The Glasgow University veterinary student reached the final of the European Indoors and won bronze at the European Under-23s, both at 1500m, and competed in the lesser distance at the World Championships.

“I’ve been so happy with my season,” Muir told Press Association Sport. “My main aim was just to qualify for the European Under-23s but then I went and got a bronze medal there in the 1500 and was selected for the 800 for the World Championships. So I’m going into next year with a lot of confidence.

“Competing on that world stage against senior athletes, the best of the best, lets you know what the level of competition is going to be like and what the expectations are.

“It was a really useful experience and racing tactically was very good.

“We are just hoping to qualify for the finals of the 800 and 1500 and be as competitive as I can in the finals.”

Muir has achieved her rapid success while studying full-time, but she recently secured a deal to allow her to complete her third year over two years.

“It’s been quite busy,” said Muir, who is originally from Kinross. “First and second year was quite hard. I just had to do runs in the morning before lectures and do sessions in the evening.

“But luckily the vet school has allowed me to go part-time in third year so that is going to be a huge help.

“It’s given me the best chance I can to prepare for next year.”

Muir could not have imagined being part of the Glasgow Games when she watched the Delhi event three years ago.

“I was still in high school and doing local Scottish small races,” she said. “So this is huge, I never expected to be here now.

“I had always said I hoped to compete in the Commonwealth Games but I never really saw how I would get there.

“So it’s great to know it is actually going to happen.

“After my first year at university, I took a really big step and was only four seconds off the 1500 standard.

“That was a big jump so I thought there was a good chance I was going to go a bit faster in second year and I went a lot faster again.”

Commonwealth Games medallists Eilidh Child and Steph Twell were also among those named. Scottish Athletics had 23 athletes named along with four squash players, with 19 of them making their Commonwealth Games debuts.

Child, who won silver in the 400metre hurdles in 2010, is included along with bronze medalist Twell, who has recovered from serious injury to seal her place in the 5000m alongside Laura Whittle. Eilish McColgan is selected for the steeplechase.

Marathon runner Susan Partridge is set to be Scotland’s oldest athletics representative at the age of 34 while twice-Scottish Cross Country champion Derek Hawkins is named in the same distance after being the fastest Briton at this year’s London Marathon.

Two male track representatives have been named - Scottish 800m champion Guy Learmonth and 1500m runner Chris O’Hare.

A number of Para-Sport athletes have also been named including 20-year-old Meggan Dawson-Farrell, who will compete in the T54 1500m.

The Alloa-based athlete holds the Scottish record for every distance from the 400m to the Marathon and will be joined in her event by 17-year-old Samantha Kinghorn from Kelso.

Paralympic silver medallist Libby Clegg will compete in the T12 100m.

Meanwhile, Alan Clyne will compete in all three squash events including the men’s singles, while Harry Leitch and Alex Clark will compete in doubles and Frania Gillen-Buchert in women’s doubles and mixed doubles.