Cool Twell fires off PB as records tumble
IT was a busy old weekend for the chroniclers of Scottish middle distance running. Chris O’Hare put the tin lid on it when he trimmed seven hundredths off his Scottish indoor 800m record with a time of 3:52.91 at the Millrose Games in New York, while Laura Muir, Andrew Butchart and Steph Twell all ran native records – fastest times by a Scot in Scotland – in their respective disciplines at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix at the Emirates Arena earlier on Saturday.
But perhaps Twell’s achievement in the women’s 3000m was particularly worth dwelling upon, as the 26-year-old from Coventry, whose mum hails from Paisley, shaved the best part of ten seconds off her personal best to remove a mark set by none other than Liz McColgan at the Kelvin Hall ten years ago. It comfortably saw her make the qualification standard for the world indoors, should she choose to take part.
Keeping her cool like a veteran in a frenetic, physical race, to finish fifth in a time of 5:50.24 she joked afterwards that this was her first personal best for five years but it was a timely reminder of the class of the athlete and the peace she appears to have found with her place in the sport. Pinpointed as one of the continent’s rising stars when she claimed the world junior championship at 1500m in Bydgoszcz in 2008, then participated at the Beijing Olympics, Twell captured Commonwealth bronze for Scotland in Delhi a year later prior to being struck down by a litany of injuries including a triple fracture of her ankle in 2011.
While she finished 12th in the World Championships on her return to Beijing last year, Twell already has her qualification times for Rio and the world appears to be her oyster. She will compete in the British indoor trials in Sheffield next Saturday then decides what happens next.
“Rio is definitely in my sights,” she said. “I feel as though I have put the foundations in place but there a still a few to do.
“I don’t want to put a limit on it [what she can achieve], it’s an art. The more you start putting barriers to say you’re in a certain shape, the harder it is to go and chase it. Today is a great incentive. I love the sport and what it’s about.”
HAPPY AT HER WORK: ‘I love the sport . . .’ Steph Twell en route to a fifthplace finish and PB in the 3000m at the Emirates Arena