European champions Lynsey Sharp and Eilidh Child will lead the Scotland team at this weekend’s Loughborough International.
It is one of the few opportunities when Scotland gather for a track and field event as a team with the countdown to Glasgow 2014 adding further resonance to an event which also features England, Wales, Loughborough Universities, British Universities and a GB Under-20 lineup.
Stephen Maguire, the Irishman who is director of coaching with scottishathletics, will take charge of the athletes at Loughborough with Olympians Sharp and Child lending their support to the national cause.
Sharp, of course, is awaiting confirmation from European Athletics of her elevation from silver to gold for the 2012 Champs in Helsinki following a drugs ban for Russian athlete Yelena Arzhakova.
Child’s superb indoor season culminated in a silver medal at 400 metres and a gold in the GB 4x400m team at the Europeans in Gothenburg but this weekend’s event will mark her outdoor season opener over 400m hurdles. Both Sharp and Child are named in the 4x400m relay squad having featured in the quartet who won that race in some style in 2012. There are others in the squad who have achieved Commonwealth Games standards already in long jumper Jade Nimmo, high jumper Allan Smith and hammer thrower Mark Dry but Loughborough’s “first call” on those available means 800m runner Guy Learmonth will compete against Scotland in his University vest.
“It is an early season meeting but I am looking forward to being involved for the first time with a Scotland team,” said Maguire. “There’s a chance to meet and talk to the athletes as well over a couple of days and that’s a good opportunity. For those competing – it is not all that often there is that chance to wear a Scotland vest and it will be an honour for them.
“Having people like Lynsey Sharp and Eilidh Child present is great because it allows younger athletes selected to spend time with them and learn from them. Even just being around Olympians and seeing how they prepare can be educational. From a team perspective, it is not a huge priority and we must acknowledge that the nature of the event means Loughborough and GB Under-20s have first call on our athletes. We also have some with college commitments in the United States at the moment.”
British Athletics is expected to announce the GB Under-20s team today while endurance pair Steph Twell and Laura Muir will compete in a high level BMC event in Birmingham on Saturday.
Scotland men: 100m Tom Holligan, 200m Ryan Oswald, 400m Jamie Bowie, 800m Shaun Wyllie, 1500m Neil Gourley, 3000m Kris Gauson
110m H Allan Scott, 400m H David Martin, 3000m S/C Lachlan Oates, High Jump: Allan Smith, Long Jump: John Carr, Triple Jump: Anthony Daffurn, Discus: Angus McInroy, Javelin: Greg Millar, Hammer: Mark Dry, 4x100m Relay: Oswald, Holligan, Grant Plenderleith, Allan Hamilton, Allan Scott, 4 x 400m Relay: Bowie, Kris Robertson, Anthony Young, David Martin, Greg Louden.
Scotland Women: 100m: Kathryn Christie, 200m: Gemma Nicol, 400m: Kirsten McAslan, 800m: Lynsey Sharp, 1500m: Claire Gibson, 100m H: Claire Taylor, 400m H: Eilidh Child, 3000m S/C: Lennie Waite, High Jump: Emma Nuttall, Long Jump: Jade Nimmo, Triple Jump: Nony Mordi, Pole Vault: Caroline Adams, Shot: Kirsty Yates, Hammer: Susan McKelvie, 4x 400m Relay: Chid, Nicol, McAslan, Sharp, Diane Ramsay, Zoey Clark.