Eilish McColgan targets Commonwealth Games medals after Team Scotland confirmation for Birmingham 2022

A casual assessment of the wagering odds would firmly push Eilish McColgan’s chips next summer in the direction of the Commonwealth Games.

Eilish McColgan has been confirmed as part of Team Scotland for the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham

Twice a medallist at European level, as packed an athletics schedule as there has ever been will offer the Dundonian ample options to amplify her CV in 2022 with the delayed world athletics championships in Oregon and the subsequent Europeans in Munich sandwiching the gathering of Her Majesty’s clans in Birmingham.

Yet the lure of the Commonwealths is as much personal as performance-related. “For us in Scotland, Commonwealths is important,” the 30-year-old insisted. “It's special, it's unique.”

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Add the familial fervour from her mother Liz’s two golds at the event and it is little surprise that, despite a whiff of pressure from UK Athletics to give the Games a miss, she was merrily confirmed yesterday among a potent first wave of Caledonian cracks selected, all primed to head to the Midlands with saltires on their chests and medals on their minds.

Olympic medallists Laura Muir and Josh Kerr as the headline acts, with McColgan, Jake Wightman, Jemma Reekie and Andy Butchart – all finalists at Tokyo 2020 – in support, it underlines the immense strength in the middle-distances that will be transported south.

“We travelled the length and breadth of Scotland as kids, doing cross-countries and going into national junior leagues and all of those competitions,” said McColgan, who followed up her ninth place in August’s Olympic 10,000m final by coming second on her recent half-marathon debut at the Great North Run.

“So it's really cool that we're all now making the senior team. We're still here, still running fast and the standard keeps improving. We're looking at Josh Kerr and Laura at the Olympics and Jemma on the brink of a medal too. To have that Olympic level is pretty special for such a small nation.”

This has been a gruelling year, one which began on the roads of Dubai in January and which will conclude on the streets of Portsmouth at next week’s Great South Run. The sheer logistics of next summer with two major championships and Commonwealths within a 38-day spell across nine different time zones will again test body and soul, she concedes.

One, perhaps two out of three, some will decide. Undue caution, McColgan believes. “To be honest, that's no different than me going to Brussels and Paris and Zurich,” she added. “I'm used to racing like that, doing Diamond Leagues and bouncing from race to race.

“And there's even enough time between some championships for me to go back up to altitude again, get a little bit of training and then come back again.”

Muir, Kerr and Wightman will have to strategise precisely. To compete over 800 and 1500, or simply one. “I fancy doubling at Commies or Europeans, just to try it,” Wightman claimed. Muir has expressed a similar outline intent.

“I'm pre-selected in the 10,000m after Tokyo,” McColgan affirmed. “I'm going to wait and see the sort of shape that I'm in to make a final decision on do I want to be selected for the 5000m. It depends again how other people are competing too. I'll definitely want to go to Commonwealths looking for a medal and if 5000 and 10,000 are really good medal prospects, then there's no reason why I can't give both a go.”

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