Athletics: Kirsten McAslan can silence the critics in Tallinn

Following the remarkably successful European Under-23 Championships in Ostrava, nine Scots, five of them with Capital connections, will joust with the best Under-20s of the Continent when the European Junior Championships take place in Tallinn, Estonia from tomorrow till Sunday.

The busiest of them promises to be Kirsten McAslan, a 17-year-old Manchester schoolgirl with an impeccable Scottish pedigree who will contest the 400 metres and hopefully the 4x400m relay - and may be an ideal candidate to join Lee McConnell and Eilidh Child in the Scottish senior relay building up for Glasgow 2014.

While accusations about "carpet-bagging" have flown around recently regarding athletes imported into the British ranks from the United States and the Caribbean to the detriment of "home talent", McAslan can boast a mother Fiona (nee Hargreaves) who represented Scotland in the 400m in the 1986 Commonwealth Games, a father Ewan who was Scottish Universities triple jump champion in 1981 and grandparents who still live in Trinity the second fastest of the three British one-lappers in Tallinn with a time of 53.98 seconds, Kirsten would love to better her mother's best time of 53.34sec, set in that vintage 1986 season.

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"There's quite a bit of family rivalry there," chuckles grandpa Jim, 80, who admits he's started buying the national athletics magazine again to follow the results.

Kirsten, who is coached by GB 800m star Jenny Meadows' husband Trevor Painter, begins her tough challenge in the morning heats tomorrow and, if successful, the semi-finals in the afternoon and the final on Friday, then lines up for the relay on Saturday and, provided no mishaps, again on Sunday. But, as Jim McAslan is quick to point out, with three Brits in both the flat 400m and 400m hurdles, competition for relay places will be fierce, with Aberdeen's Zoey Clark also there, although she will compete only for the relay.

Likewise Lasswade's Greg Louden, third in the Scottish senior 400m last Sunday, is named only for the men's 4 x 400m relay.

Lasswade's other hope, the enigmatic King of the Boards Guy Learmonth claims he is back fully fit and raring to go in the 800m after a series of mishaps in the early outdoor season: "I'm feeling great - I did my final track session today and can't wait to get started."

Among his daunting opponents however are the 2009 World Youth Champion Johan Rogestede (Sweden) and Frenchman Pierre Ambroise Bosse, who recently clocked a 1:46.18, more than two seconds faster than Learmonth's best.

Emma Nuttall (EAC) will be hoping her form returns to the high jump where she has still to match her indoor best of 1.83m set back in February: "Things are going well and I'm looking forward to the qualifying on Friday," she reported.The hammer qualifying is also on Friday and coach Alan Bertram believes that Falkirk's Myra Perkins can reach the final, even though she too has been below her best recently: "60 metres may do it, perhaps even 58.5m or 59.00m."

"I'm just hoping she can pull something out of the bag," he said.

n NEW Scottish 400 metres champion Eilidh Child (Pitreavie) returns to the 400m hurdles tomorrow when she races in Lucerne.

Glasgow's Lee McConnell, who won the Scottish 200m title at Scotstoun, returns to the 400m in Barcelona on Friday.

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