By mark woods
There lies the incentive tonight at the Emirates Arena where the Scot has the opportunity to become the first athlete in the showpiece’s 49-year history to claim twin titles at successive editions by retaining her 1,500 metres crown as an accompaniment to her triumph in the 3000m on Friday night.
It would be the fifth major championship of her still-blossoming career. An unprecedented double-double is on the cards and who would bet against Muir playing the perfect hand?
“I want to win the medals,” she declared. “But to put the cherry on top of the cake is pretty nice. Getting any medal is fantastic.
“To get a gold, brilliant. To get two, even better. To be defending champion and do it for the first time ever that’s very special.
“If it had been somewhere else then I probably wouldn’t have done it.
“With it being on my home track you want to make it really, really special. I feel like that’s the way to do it.”
There was no sense yesterday that she has been fatigued by the extreme exertions of two nights ago, when she ran the semis of the 1,500 less than three hours before a 3,000m final that demanded the ferocious acceleration of a cheetah to savagely tear apart the challenge of her German foe Konstanze Klosterhalfen. This is not the wide-eyed, tentative ingenue of the past. Muir, who broke both the British mile and 1,500m records in a single outing in Birmingham a fortnight ago, knows her capacity and how it may expand. “I am so confident in my ability now,” he said. “I’ve always had ability but not always had the confidence to use it and execute. I know what I can do. I know what others can do. I know the fields and my tactics. I can go with that. It’s a matter of having the whole package ready.”
No-one in the final field has a personal best within three seconds of the home favourite, with Poland’s Sofia Ennaoui and Northern Irish hope Ciara Mageean perhaps likeliest to accompany her on to the podium. History, surely, beckons. Additional records, maybe even a world best, are now the measure of Muir’s true limits.
“The British ones all belong to Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe,” she said. “For me though, times all come and go. They might last two years or 20 years. But medals are forever and that’s always the main focus.”
Elsewhere on the final evening of the Championships, Eilidh Doyle and Zoey Clark will bid to add to their extensive relay medal collection in the 4x400 final while Neil Gourley, employing a craft honed on the American circuit, will stare down Jakob Ingebrigtsen and Poland’s Marcin Lewandowski in the men’s 1,500m finale.
“I have seen it all, there are so many different tactical races I have been involved in,” the 24-year-old underlined. “It makes these kind of scenarios pretty familiar.”