Cram hopeful for Scots in Birmingham

Thursday 23rd June 2016

Andrew Butchart looks ahead to Rio Trials

Steve Cram was ‘Guest of Honour’ at the scottishathletics Annual Dinner last autumn and even back then he was well aware of the exciting potential of a number of Scottish elite athletes.

The potential has been realised with four selections for Rio so far via the men’s marathon trio and Beth Potter for the 10,000m.

Now the British Champs and Olympic Trials loom and Cram, who will be commentating for BBC TV at the Alexander Stadium, fully expects that number to rise through Saturday and Sunday.

Cram spoke to BBC Scotland recently about some of the Rio contenders and we’ve used those comments for this blog post.

‘It is very exciting for Scottish athletes and coaches,’ said Steve.

‘There was a big breakthrough in terms of the marathon with Callum and Derek Hawkins; Andrew Butchart has had an incredible summer already so far breaking Scottish records; and you have a number of top women performing really well.

Nat Muir was an old mate of mine from the past and he held that 5000m record for a very long time indeed until Andrew broke that time and then, just a couple of weeks later, he took the 3000m record as well from John Robson, another very good athlete whom I remember very well from the 1980s.

‘I think Butchart is in the shape of his life and then there is Laura Muir, who is in a strong development phase in her career as she becomes a world class athlete; there’s Eilish McColgan, Lynsey Sharp and Eilidh Doyle.

Sainsbury's Birmingham Grand Prix - Diamond League

Eilidh Doyle – looking to repeat 2015 British title win

‘Eilidh has had very high finishes in three of the main Diamond League meetings of the season so far so in my view she is moving into the medal zone in her event ahead of the Olympics.

‘So it is looking pretty bright for the Scots ahead of the British Champs and Trials.

‘I have a lot of time for Eilish. I was with her at a training camp in Kenya in January and, yet again, she was still struggling with rehab. But she never, ever gives up on it.

‘Everyone was doing their miles and out on the trails and Eilish was in the gym and on the machines and not able to join the others. But she throws herself into the work and is a very determined person. Her motivation is so high and that’s why she has come out the other end of this.

Steph Twell is going very well in the 5000m, too, so there might be two there if they can reproduce their form and there’s Laura Whittle as well.

‘Add others like Chris O’Hare and Lennie Waite, who are top ranked in their events, also, and it could be quite a weekend for Scots.’

Steph Twell and Beth Potter

 Steph Twell hopes to join Beth Potter in Rio


Tags: Birmingham, British Champs, Olympics, Steve Cram

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