Graphic created by Sue Gyford (with thanks for photos to Mark Shearman, Bobby Gavin, Getty Images for British Athletics)
Scottish athletes will make up a strong cohort within the Team GB and NI selection for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics – with a dozen now picked for Tokyo!
It’s a special moment for the athletes and their families and coaches, of course, and also for the sport in Scotland.
The announcement from the British Olympic Association today, following on from the Olympic Trials in Manchester last weekend, confirmed a team of 72 in total for track, field and marathon.
A number of clubs have had a huge involvement in the development of these 12 Scots with hard work by volunteers along the pathway making a huge contribution – a point acknowledged by a number of the athletes in Manchester last weekend.
It is tally of representation which has only been matched or topped once in the past 11 versions of the Olympics since 12 also were selected for Munich in 1972 almost half a century ago and that was for Rio in 2016.
Here are the chosen ones (in alphabetical order) . . .
Andy Butchart (Central AC) 5000m (Barry Fudge)
Zoey Clark (Aberdeen AAC) 4x400m Relay (Eddie McKenna)
Steph Davis (VP Glasgow) Marathon (Phillip Kissi)
Beth Dobbin (Edinburgh AC) 200m and 4x100m Relay (Leon Baptiste)
Callum Hawkins (Kilbarchan AAC) Marathon (Robert Hawkins)
Josh Kerr (Edinburgh AC) 1500m (Danny Mackey)
Eilish McColgan (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) 5000m and 10,000m (Liz Nuttall)
Laura Muir (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) 800m and 1500m (Andy Young)
Jemma Reekie (Kilbarchan AAC) 800m (Andy Young)
Steph Twell (Kilbarchan AAC) Marathon
Jake Wightman (Edinburgh AC) 1500m (Geoff Wightman)
Nicole Yeargin (Pitreavie AAC) 400m and 4x400m Relay (Quincy Watts)
*Scottish club listed in all cases and event(s) for which the athlete selected
Marathon trio – Steph Davis, Callum Hawkins and Steph Twell are lined up to compete in Japan (photos by Mark Shearman and Bobby Gavin)
Seven Scots are picked for the Olympics for the first time while for five others it is either their second or third second selection.
Eilish McColgan and Steph Twell now join Liz McColgan and Lee McConnell as the only females to be picked three times in athletics. Laura Muir, Callum Hawkins and Andy Butchart return after making their Games debuts in Rio.
‘I am absolutely delighted for all those athletes selected and their families and coaches after many years of hard work and dedication to their sport,’ said Mark Pollard, Head of Performance with scottishathletics.
‘Over the past 18 months it has been a very challenging route towards Tokyo for all those seeking qualification standards.
‘For athletics in Scotland to have over double figures within a GB and NI team is rare and reflects on the achievement of those now picked.
‘Hopefully this can inspire the next generation of athletes on our performance pathway to believe in what is possible for Scottish athletes to achieve, should they show similar application and commitment to their sport.‘
Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie (photo by Getty Images via British Athletics)
In terms of the overall tally, 12 compares very favourably indeed to Scottish representation within GB and NI Olympic teams over the past century or so.
It is down slightly on Rio (although in that team there were different selection qualification routes at play).
But it is well worth noting that over four Olympic Games selections from 2000 through to 2012, there were 17 picks for Scottish athletes.
Sydney 2000: Three
Athens 2004: Five
Beijing 2008: Four
London 2012: Five
Rio 2016: 15
Tokyo 2021: 12