LYNSEY Sharp’s bid for World Championship glory begins tomorrow in the heats of the 800 metres in Beijing and will conclude, she hopes, on Saturday, when the final takes place in the Bird’s Nest Stadium.
Results, first and foremost, consume her mind. To the point where she has been notably absent from the debate on doping that has been re-energised by revelations that a flurry of past cheats might soon be brought into the open. Some, including Mo Farah and Jo Pavey, have asked to set a lead by publishing the testing data accumulated in their biological passport. Sharp would readily do likewise to help restore lost faith in the sport.
“I know I’m clean and part of a clean team so I try not to dwell on it too much,” she says. “But, at the same time, it’s annoying and I think it’s a massive problem, but we need to be careful about pointing fingers because stuff needs to come out and we need to be clearer before everyone starts pointing fingers.”
Two years ago, these championships unfolded in Moscow in her absence during a spell of frustration in which setbacks followed injuries, derailing the momentum from Sharp’s burgeoning career. In 2014, with European and Commonwealth silvers, proof was offered that she remains a potent force when her body offers its co-operation.
l Laura Muir has insisted her learning experiences of the past can help sustain a challenge for a medal in today’s 1500 metres final.
The 22-year-old from Perthshire goes into the showdown ranked fifth but has shaken off the doubters over her appetite for the big occasion with assured showings in Beijing.
Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, who smashed the world in Monaco last month, will be the clear favourite but Muir cannot be discounted.
“If I run the best race I can in the final, I’ll be pleased,” she said. “But we’ll need to see where that leaves me.”
Eilidh Child survived a huge scare to sneak into tomorrow’s 400m hurdles final after coming third in her semi. The European champion, 28, had to sweat for 15 minutes before her spot was secured as a fastest loser.