‘Thunderbird’ Lang revels in her Canadian experience

Friday 3rd April 2020

Naomi Lang (right) in action in Canada

By Fraser Clyne

Scotland international Naomi Lang has made a big impression on the Canadian distance running scene this past winter.

The Aberdeen AAC member, who represented Scotland at the 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games, is in her third year studying sports science at Edinburgh University.

Naomi has spent the past nine months or so at the University of British Columbia where she is based in the kinesiology department as part on a student exchange programme.

And the young Scot starred in her University cross country team – The Thunderbirds – when finishing second in the U20 women’s race at the Canadian cross country championships.

‘I was very happy with my run that day,’ said Naomi, in an interview with the Press and Journal.

‘I had a couple of good performances leading up to it, so was hoping to do well. It was fun to race in a different country’s national championships and to be in the mix.

‘It was a good day for Scottish athletes as Lothian’s Sarah Inglis was second in the senior race. However, neither of us a got a medal as we are not Canadian nationals.

‘The main race for the team during the season was the USports cross country championships. It’s the equivalent of the British universities and colleges championships at home.

‘I finished 11th in that and fourth at the Canadian West University championships.

‘I’ve gone into every race not really knowing what to expect but I’ve definitely been happy with how they’ve gone.

‘There’s quite a big focus on team performance, which I’ve really enjoyed, as I think it means that you end up working with team-mates during the race more than I’m used to back in Britain.

‘The races have been all over Canada, in places such as Kingston in Ontario and Calgary. I’ve also done one in the US, in Minnesota, so I’ve seen some parts of North America I otherwise wouldn’t have.

‘I’m never going to complain about a three-hour drive to a race again at home after flying five hours for some of them here!’

Lang’s achievements saw her nominated for the British Columbia U20 female Athlete of the Year award.

‘I didn’t win but was very surprised to be nominated in the first place as I didn’t even realise I would eligible.’

The former Aberdeen Grammar School pupil is due to return to Scotland later in the year.

Naomi pictured centre a couple of years ago after a Scottish 3000m champs with Eloise Walker (left) and Anna Macfadyen (photo by Bobby Gavin)

Tags: Naomi Lang, Sarah Inglis

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