High jumper Emma Nuttall gets rehab help from Moby

“Green Sally up and Green Sally down. Lift and squat, gotta tear the ground.” The refrain from the song Flowers – a B-side by once-hip DJ Moby – is not well known. For Emma Nuttall, however, it was the theme to the Summer of 2018, not in the clubs of Ibiza but a gym in Birmingham where the former British high jump champion was rehabbing.

High jumper Emma Nuttall is on the comeback trial this weekend. Picture: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

A knee injury had forced the Scot into the second long-term hiatus of her career. The 26-year-old openly pondered whether a rehabilitation process that would exclude her from competition for almost 18 months would be an effort made in vain. She said: “I knew this was the last shot. So I knew that if I didn’t give it my all, I wouldn’t be able to avoid regrets on trying everything.”

When her spirits sagged, inspirational tunes were needed and Moby stood out. “I had to squat and thrust to that,” she added. “Every time it said Green Sally down, I had to go down and stay there until it changed. It made it a bit more challenging at a point when you can’t do much.”

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“I’m not sure how I feel about Moby now,” she laughed. “Every time I hear that song I get flashbacks. I feel like I should do a squat there and then.”

Perhaps she should demand its inclusion on the playlist at ArenaBirmingham this weekend. A comeback which began with victory at last month’s Scottish Championships continues at the UK Indoor Championships, where places in the British team for next month’s Europeans in Glasgow are on offer. That is too much to hope for so soon, admits Nuttall, especially with training partner Morgan Lake having equalled the British record of 1.97m last week.

Rejoining the fray is enough, for now, as Nuttall continues a long-term rejuvenation project. She said: “My coach always talks about the arc of where we’re going. If I reach my goals quickly, then great. But I know it’s not going to happen right away. Over the next couple of years, I just need to build consistency.”

Meanwhile, Laura Muir is set to duel with fellow Scot Eilish McColgan in this afternoon’s women’s 3,000 metres. Eilidh Doyle and Zoey Clark will chase European berths over 400m, Neil Gourley goes in the 1,500m, while Andy Butchart, Chris O’Hare and Andy Butchart are poised for an intriguing scrap in tomorrow’s men’s 3,000m.