Laura Muir safely through to world 1500m final in Doha

Laura Muir in the women's 1500m semi-final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World in Doha. Picture: Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty
Laura Muir in the women's 1500m semi-final at the 2019 IAAF Athletics World in Doha. Picture: Karim Jaafar/AFP via Getty
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Laura Muir’s days of anguish are done now. Weeks when she worried a torn calf would cause her to miss the world championships in Doha, or at the very least, arrived without a prayer. In last night’s 1,500m semis, the 26-year-old resembled her vibrant self – poised and assured.

Seizing third place in 4:01.05, it was all very much under control, as she eased in behind the USA’s Jenny Simpson and her Glasgow-based training partner Gabi Stafford. The final is tomorrow night. .

“Everyone talks about the final but you have to actually get there first,” said Muir, pictured. “These girls are fast, a 4:01 there for a semi-final, I’m really happy to run that time.”

There has been a touch of relief, she acknowledged. All systems go. “I’m so happy to be back and am confident with my body. It is a good confidence boost. It’s given me a lot of confidence knowing I can run that sort of time feeling comfortably.

“It’s so hard coming back from injury but I’m so happy to be here, be competitive and I’m looking forward to the final.”

Jake Wightman was left kicking his heels before his belated entry into action in Doha. But the 25-year-old made it a Scottish three for three by safely progressing from the opening heats and into tonight’s 1,500m semi-finals, with Josh Kerr and Neil Gourley.

Boxed in at the bell entering the final lap, he required a deft diversionary move. And then a ferocious kick for home, beating the cut in a blanket finish to come fourth in 3:37.72.

“I knew if they came by quicker, it was too short a space to respond,” Wightman said. “I didn’t realise it would be like that at the end. I felt like I had another gear and I hope that bodes well.”

Gourley, too, was compelled to wrestle free from captivity in order to find the room to come fourth in his heat in 3:36.51. Kerr was rather more free and easy. The Edinburgh 21-year-old has a swagger and confidence and it was on display, picking his moment, choosing his moves and passing Ethiopia’s Teddesse Lemi during the dash for home as he eased into second spot.

The conditions were testing, he admitted. “The indoor track, the call room, the stadium is fantastic. In between is trickier,” he said. “We don’t have the luxury of all that air conditioning at the training track but you have to get used to something different. I came in three days ago and the first time I ran outside, I thought ‘I don’t want to do that again’. It was rough. After a couple of days I’m still sweating a lot.”