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Vet student Laura Muir is on track for honours

Milnathorts Laura Muir won the Womens 1500m at the European Trials and UK Indoor Championships in Sheffield. Picture: PA

Milnathorts Laura Muir won the Womens 1500m at the European Trials and UK Indoor Championships in Sheffield. Picture: PA

  • by JO ATKINSON
 

Student Laura Muir spent last spring out lambing on a farm as part of her University course as a trainee vet.

This year, in less than a fortnight, she will be mixing it with 
Europe’s best athletes as she swaps her studies for Sweden and her first senior international competition.

The 19-year-old from Milnathort, near Kinross, is in her second year at Glasgow University studying veterinary medicine. But her ascending athletics career was underlined by a 1,500 metres call-up for Team GB and NI for the European Indoor Champs in Gothenburg on March 1-3 alongside fellow Scot Eilidh Child, who runs the 400m.

Lynsey Sharp, who won a silver medal at the European outdoor champs in Helsinki last summer, opted not to compete indoors this year despite setting the required standard and will turn her focus to outdoors as she targets 800m at the World Champs in August.

Guy Learmonth missed out as three other men were named by British Athletics for 800m – with the Scot having set the required qualifying standard on two occasions with an indoor PB in Birmingham last weekend. Learmonth has been granted a run in Stockholm on Thursday night as a consolation.

Muir won the Scottish Cross country title a year ago this week at under-20 level and then went to the World Juniors at 3,000m and her improvement at 1,500m has been rapid this season – with a first senior GB vest awarded in Glasgow in January.

“I’m delighted to be heading to Gothenburg for the European Indoors and it will be good to have Eilidh Child there on the team as well,” said Muir, the only woman named at her distance.

“I won the UK title in Sheffield and had the qualifying time from a previous race in Vienna so knew I had done enough. I could relax a wee bit and didn’t need to race in the Birmingham Grand Prix.

“I was due to run in the 
Scottish Cross Country Champs at Falkirk on Saturday but, even though I love that event, it is 
better not to risk anything so close to Sweden. I plan to be there to cheer on my friends and my brother.

“After that it is Gothenburg and then I will try and fit in warm weather training ahead of the outdoor season. I have to do a certain amount of work experience to complete as part of my course but it is over a two-year period. I did the lambing last spring and really enjoyed that.’

Full-time athlete Child, of course, has been in terrific form indoors as the hurdler works on her speed via the 400m flat – breaking the Scottish Native and Scottish Indoor records in the process.

Child’s latest run in Birmingham, at 51.50secs, was the fourth fastest all-time by a Briton. She will compete in the 400m in Gothenburg and is named in the 4 x 400m squad as well.

Sharp ran an indoor PB for 800m at the weekend in the Birmingham Grand Prix but, while that gave her the qualifying time for Sweden, she had never planned to compete in the European Indoors. The scottishathletics Athlete of the Year 2012 tweeted: “For everyone who is asking, racing indoors was just a bit of fun and I did not wish to be considered for Euro Indoors. Roll on outdoors!”

Jenny Meadows was named as the sole Women’s 800m representative and the Englishwoman will captain Team GB and NI in Sweden.

Dwain Chambers has been included in the team despite failing to impress on his return from a back problem.

Chambers was unable to compete in the trials in Sheffield before managing fifth on his comeback to the 60 metres at the British Athletics Grand Prix. The 34-year-old, who won silver at the meet in Paris two years ago, admitted afterwards he did not want to go to next month’s championships in Gothenburg if he was not fully fit.

 

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