Laura Muir concedes she has accelerated beyond her own expectations with one impressive performance after another. And her stock has risen once again after she broke her second European record inside a month at the Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham.
The 23-year-old, on current form, will be tough to resist at next week’s European Indoor Championships. Gasping for oxygen at the finish with nothing left in reserve, her relentless race against the clock saw her win the 1,000 metres in 2:31.95, barely a second outside Maria Mutola’s world record but inside Kelly Holmes long-standing British mark.
“To beat Kelly’s record is amazing and to be so close to the world record is also very encouraging for me,” she said.
“It is every athlete’s dream to be running well every time you come out on the track and being injury-free. Hopefully I can carry this sort of form into the summer.”
With UK Athletics selectors meeting today to finalise their squad for Belgrade, it is set to include five Scots, with Muir’s request to double up over 1500 and 3000 metres certain to be granted.
With Allan Smith missing out after failing to earn the high jump standard, it leaves Steph Twell and Eilish McColgan to join Muir in her longer distance, Guy Learmonth in the 800m and Eilidh Doyle in the 400m.
And the Olympic bronze medallist Doyle, who was fourth in Birmingham, says the youngest member of this branch of the Tartan Army is now assuredly the leader of the pack.
“Everybody’s been doing so well but obviously I’ve got a special connection with Laura because it was 2013 when she got her first senior vest at Euro Indoors and she was sharing a room with me,” said Doyle, pictured, who turns 30 today.
“It was great to properly meet her and watch her. You go back to Kinross and people would be asking about her. That’s really nice.”
A silver medallist at the 2013 European indoors, Doyle was off the pace at the Grand Prix but is confident she will rebound in Serbia. “At the Europeans I know what not to do now,” she said. “I’d definitely rather have run like that here than in Belgrade. It would have been nice to have run better but it’s still my second-best time of the season.”
Meanwhile, Mo Farah has revealed plans for a globetrotting farewell tour after he signs off from his track career at the world championships in London. The four-time Olympic champion rebounded from a sub-par showing in Edinburgh last month by winning the 5,000m in a European record of 13:09.43 after holding off Bahrain’s Albert Rop.
“I’m going to go back to Ethiopia and do a bit more training,” Farah, 33, said. “Then back to the US. Then in April do a half-marathon, I think in Cape Town, 15 April, not confirmed yet but that’s the aim. Then I’ll come back to US, then Prefontaine.”
Elsewhere, McColgan and Twell were fifth and tenth respectively in the 3,000m with both lowering their personal bests while Learmonth came fifth in the 800m after reducing his lifetime mark to 1:47.00.
With both Farah and distance rival Andrew Butchart opting out of the Europeans, there will be few true dilemmas to be considered outside of whether to pick reigning 60 metres champion Richard Kilty.
The Teesside Tornado false-started at the trials in Sheffield earlier this month but revealed it came after his shoes were allegedly stolen from the pre-race call room.
By coming third in Birmingham, Kilty hopes his case has been made. “My aim was to make sure I just had to beat every other British person. I’ve done that and hopefully that will be enough.”