Sports news in brief: Guy Learmonth says he will fight for a Team GB vest

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Scottish 400m champion Guy Learmonth heads for the Emirates Arena this weekend to kick-start a season he hopes will include a Team GB vest at the European Indoors in Gothenburg in March.

The 20-year-old from the Borders, an 800m specialist, was desperately close to featuring at the World Indoors last March when he ran the qualifying time and did well in the trials but lost out in selection to Andrew Osagie.

Candid Learmonth has confessed he only now ‘feels like a real athlete’ after being inspired both by London 2012 and missing out on some personal goals last season.

He intends to use Saturday’s scottishathletics McCain National Indoor Open at Glasgow’s new £113m venue to launch the ‘new Guy’.

“For the first time ever, I finally feel like an athlete, a runner, an 800m runner to be more specific,” said Learmonth

Scottish star Christie strikes European gold

SPEED SKATING: Scottish short-track speed skater Elise Christie won gold in the 1,500m at the European Championships in Malmo, Sweden.

The 22-year-old, who had previously won European bronze in the 3,000m relay, timed two minutes, 26.741 seconds, with Italy’s Arianna Fontana second. Christie’s GB team-mate Charlotte Gilmartin was third.

Christie – who is from Livingston but lives and trains in England – competes in the 500m today and the 1,000m, her favoured event, tomorrow.

In the men’s event, Briton Jon Eley finished third in his semi-final, just missing out on a place in the final.

Elsewhere, at the World Cup event in Igls, Austria, Britain’s Lizzy Yarnold finished ninth in the skeleton event won by Russia’s Elena Nikitina.

In the two-women bobsleigh, British pair Paula Walker and Gillian Cooke finished seventh, with Victoria Olaoye and Kelly Denyer 16th.

Mixed pairs event moves into the business end

BOWLS: The Fred Olsen Cruise Lines World Match Play Mixed Pairs got under way in Norfolk yesterday with Paul Foster and Darren Burnett moving through to tomorrow’s semi-finals with their partners Laura Thomas and Karen Murphy respectively while defending champion David Gourlay and Debbie Stavrou were beaten on a tie break.

This time Foster, who lost in last year’s final, was paired up with WIBC champion Thomas from Wales and they were pushed every step before moving through 5-6, 8-5, 2-1 against Kelly Packwood and Simon Skelton.

Burnett and newly-crowned world outdoor singles and triples champion Murphy from Sydney, went head to head against Anglo Scot Andy Thomson and Ellen Falkner and hit back from 4-0 down in the first set where they won the next six ends to win 9-4. It was a tussle in the second, but Burnett played a pressure last bowl to count a double on the last thanks to an umpire’s measure, to share the set 6-6 and win the match by a set and a half to a half.