McConnell hopeful young Scots can break through

Share this article
Have your say

THREE-TIMES Olympian Lee McConnell leads the home contingent at the McCain Scottish Senior Indoor Championships tomorrow.

The Emirates Arena in Glasgow is the venue for the latest event in a series of national championships which has seen entries rise in the wake of the Olympics.

Scots claimed nine medals at the UK event in Sheffield last weekend, the best overall haul for 18 years, and McConnell acknowledges there is a feelgood factor north of the border right now.

“There is a lot of potential around athletics in Scotland at the moment,” said McConnell, who runs in the 200m tomorrow.

“I think there always has been in my time but it is just about getting them into the senior ranks. We seemed to lose a few people for whatever reason.

“Now we are seeing some teenagers looking as if they can make that step and I think we all want to see that.”

McConnell doesn’t normally undertake an indoor season but competed for the Commonwealth Select at the Emirates in the British International Match and now will be hot favourite to add a national title to the many medals she already has at various levels down the years.

Beth Finlayson looks best-placed to challenge McConnell tomorrow, with the Olympian more often competing at 400m than one lap of the indoor track at the new venue.

In the 800m, Kathryn Evans should fancy her chances of a Scottish title with the best PB of those likely to be in attendance. Her opposition could include Emma Leask from Guernsey.

One of the most interesting competitions among the women could well be the long jump. Scottish record holder, Jade Nimmo, has dipped her toe in Combined Events this winter and that was rewarded with victory in our national championships last weekend.

As Nimmo was in action in Glasgow, Edinburgh AC’s Sarah Warnock and Lisa Ferguson were involved in the UK Championships in Sheffield – with Warnock landing a big PB at 6.16m in her final jump to claim a bronze medal.

All three are on the slate for tomorrow and that could mean a really intense competition with 6.20m the mark set for Glasgow 2014 (although the qualifying period is not open until 1 April).

In the men’s events, the likes of Ryan Oswald, Stephen Dunlop and Anthony Young could well feature among the sprint medals at 60m and 200m while Jamie Bowie will be among the favourites – along with Young, David Martin and Greg Louden – in the 400m.

Graeme Oudney is among those chasing the title in the 800m with the Dundee Hawkhill athlete having tweeted the other day that it is 15 years since he won his first age group title with scottishathletics.

He faces opposition from Grant Muir, Jack Walker and Central AC pair Sean Reilly and Attila Emmer.

In the long jump, Allan Hamilton faces a challenge from English visitor Chris Kirk while in the triple jump it will be interesting to assess the performances of youngsters Joseph Amouzo and Mahad Ahmed from Glasgow School of Sport. Ray Bobrownicki looks clear favourite in the high jump.