Scottish athletes savouring a record representation at Glasgow 2019 are reaping the rewards for many years of hard work – and coaches and clubs have played a huge role, too.
That’s the verdict of Stephen Maguire, Head of Performance and Coaching at scottishathletics, in our special video interview on the selections.
Nine top names have been picked by British Athletics for the fast-approaching Emirates Arena event and it is a best representation for Scots on a GB and NI team in more than 50 years of the European indoors event.
‘Congratulations to all those selected – it is a tremendous achievement,’ said Stephen.
‘I think for Scottish athletes to compete for GB and NI in a Scottish venue in front of a home crowd will be even more special. Nine is a very strong group and representation and, in terms of the numbers, I don’t think we really could have asked for any more.
‘Most of these athletes have been competing since the age of 13,14, 15 and have been building towards this with their coaches and the clubs over many years.
It’s not overnight success. That just does not happen in athletics.
‘It is lots of miles, lots of technical work, lots of hard graft and lots of sacrifices. That’s what takes you to this point of selection with GB and NI for a European Indoors.
‘I think we have true international class athletes here in Scotland – we’re seeing repeated evidence of that in recent performances.’
One look at the history books would suggest that Scottish medals at the European Indoors invariably only number one or two per event (although three athletes did win four medals in Belgrade in 2017)
‘Medals will be hard to come by at Glasgow 2019, for sure,’ added Stephen.
‘There’s talent there in Europe and we’ve seen that in the indoor performances and the rankings.’
‘But we should not be afraid of what we’ve got. I do think the crowd will be supportive of every GB athlete and I absolutely know they will take the roof off for the Scots. One or two medals? My aspirations might be a little bit more than that but indoor athletics is hard to predict.
‘But I’d be very confident that Scots can perform very well indeed at the Emirates Arena in a couple of weeks.’
Andy Butchart of Central AC (Terrence Mahon) 3000m
Zoey Clark of Aberdeen AAC (Eddie McKenna) 400m and 4 x 400m Relay
Eilidh Doyle of Pitreavie AAC (Brian Doyle) 400m and 4 x 400m Relay
Neil Gourley of Giffnock North AC (Mark Rowland) 1500m
Guy Learmonth of Lasswade AC (Henry Gray) 800m
Eilish McColgan of Dundee Hawkhill (Liz Nuttall) 3000m
Laura Muir of Dundee Hawkhill (Andy Young) 1500m and 3000m
Chris O’Hare of Edinburgh AC (Terrence Mahon) 3000m
Jemma Reekie of Kilbarchan AAC (Andy Young) 1500m