Muir faces competition despite dream year
IN years gone by, a season like the one Laura Muir has had would guarantee her being awarded Scottish Athlete of the Year at her sport’s governing body annual awards.
However, the calibre of Scottish athletes these days means that Muir’s two European Indoor gold medals and her fifth place at the World Championships means she is far from a stick-on to win the top award at Scottish Athletics FPSG Awards Dinner on Saturday.
Muir is in exalted company on the Athlete of the Year shortlist, with Callum Hawkins, Eilish McColgan, Jake Wightman and hill runners Jacob Adkin and Andy Douglas in the running alongside Muir.
The 26-year-old, though, who won the award last year, is delighted to be up against such stiff competition.
“It’s been a great year – we were so fortunate to have the European Indoors here and then we had a great representation [at the World Championships] in Doha as well. At all levels, it’s been going great and across all different disciplines,” she said.
“We’re really close – we do the major championships together and also a lot of the holding camps too. We always want to support one another as much as we can.”
Muir is into her winter training now, with the indoor season on the horizon. She announced recently that at the Glasgow Grand Prix in February, she will attempt to break the world record, which is currently held by Maria Mutola and has stood for 20 years. Mutola’s record is only one second faster than Muir’s current personal best and so grabbing the world record is, admits Muir, a hugely exciting prospect.
“Being an 800m and 1500m runner, a kilometre is pretty ideal. It’s quite a nasty distance to do though, running that extra lap,” she said. “I’m British and European record holder in that event so you want to go one better and get the world record. And where better to run than on home soil, with all the [home] support I’ll have?
“I feel like this track is faster than the Birmingham one where I set the record previously and with the crowd and if I’m in good shape, I definitely think it’s achievable – I wouldn’t go for it if I didn’t think I could do it.”