Muir faces com­pe­ti­tion de­spite dream year

Evening Times - - SPORT | BACK LINE -

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.”

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