World and European 800m medallist Jenny Meadows is adamant Scotland’s Lynsey Sharp is a world-class runner who will be at her best when Rio 2016 rolls around.
Both Sharp and Meadows compete across 800m but the pair struggled at the World Championships in Beijing earlier this year as they came unstuck at the semi-final stage.
Lynsey has an unbelievably consistent year. I think she is very confidentMeadows on Sharp
That came as a shock to most as the relatively inexperienced Shelayna Oskan-Clarke progressed and finished fifth in the final. But Meadows believes it is just an indication of the strength in depth in Britain at present and has no doubts that Sharp – who won European gold in 2012 and Commonwealth Games silver two years later – will be back to her best in no time.
“I think Lynsey had an unbelievably consistent year, it was just that World Championship semi-finals unfortunately,” Meadows said.
“She still ran an amazing time and for that to be seventh place in a semi-final was really unheard of. I think she is very confident in herself and she has that belief and that is ultimately how you win the medals.
“She has shown herself to be a world-class athlete and you would have thought it would be her that was fifth in the final and not Shelayna. I’m sure she was inspired by Shelayna as well as wishing it was her in equal measure so I am sure the event is in good hands the next few years.”
For Meadows it has been an up-and-down season after she made significant strides during the indoor campaign, only for illness to scupper her chances of a medal at the European Championships in Prague. Some strong times followed outdoors but she was unable to make the impact she wanted in Beijing.
However, with the World Indoor Championships in Portland next year as well as the Olympics, Meadows is looking to make a significant splash on the international circuit and push Sharp all the way.
“I’ve got my passion back,” she added. “It’s great to win medals but it’s just fantastic to work as hard as you can and get the best result for yourself.
“I had some up and downs in 2015 and I missed a medal indoors this year because I had a really heavy cold but I had run four of the five fastest times so it was a shame not to win that medal.
“But I am coming along quite nicely and would love to win a medal at the World Indoors.”
l The UK Coaching Awards 2015, hosted by sports coach UK, is a chance to recognise excellent coaching and coaching organisations that have achieved outstanding success over the past 12 months. For more information visit: www.sportscoachuk.org