Cool Twell fires off PB as records tum­ble

The Herald - Herald Sport - - ATHLETICS - STE­WART FISHER

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

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