It WASN’T quite like Moscow. However, Steph Twell shrugged off the personal trauma of her omission from the British world championship squad to land her first-ever Scottish title at Glasgow’s Scotstoun Stadium.
It was, admitted the Commonwealth medallist, some consolation but the wounds are still raw..
However, the 23-year-old dug deep on the last lap to claim victory in the 1500 metres in 4.18.48, holding off the dual challenge of Amy Campbell and Morag MacLarty. It was a calculated gamble, she revealed, given that the speed work required to compete at this distance has been identified as the cause of some of the injuries which have plagued her over the past two years.
Her spurious exclusion was another blow. “It can disrupt you,” she underlined. “It really did affect me at the London Anniversary Games.” Many, including Paula Radcliffe, have offered support. It has eased the pain. There’s a huge community out there. I’m a very quiet person in my training group. I get on with it. But it has been overwhelming. My mentors have come out for me. You guys have been writing about it. And I appreciate that.”
There were notable performances elsewhere by Caroline Adams, who took pole vault victory in a Commonwealth standard of 4.05 metres. Isobel Pooley thwarted Emma Nuttall in the high jump with a best of 1.88m. But the lack of depth in Scottish sprinting was confirmed when Ryan Oswald was unchallenged as he re-claimed the 100 metres crown in 10.54 seconds.
With no official trials for Glasgow 2014, these championships have taken on some significance in the handful of events where there are multiple candidates for Team Scotland. Andy Frost, Mark Dry and Chris Bennett will scrap for hammer supremacy this afternoon, while the 800 metres final will highlight the strength in numbers over middle distances.
Tom Watson, the emerging 19-year-old, was the fastest qualifier, winning his semi-final ahead of GB international David Bishop, while Guy Learmonth was made to toil to see off European junior 1,500m champion Jake Wightman to advance in first place.
“The final’s being built up as a spectacle,” Learmonth said. “We’ve seen how good the guys are going in the heats and the semi. The Scottish Championships haven’t had this much depth in a long time.”