Ryan Thomson in 3000m action at the Loughborough International – five years after he was originally picked (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Ryan Thomson waited five years after his initial selection to make his first track and field appearance for Scotland at the Loughborough International.
But, mirroring the feelings across our team, he savoured the (belated) experience with the over-riding impression being that wearing the navy blue vest remains a huge honour and career high.
Thomson was one of more than dozen debutants within the Scotland team at Loughborough this year and relished his 3000m run which delivered a big outdoor PB at 8:09.88.
‘I was picked for Scotland for Loughborough back in 2017 – in the 3000m,’ recalled Ryan.
‘Five years ago I had to miss out through injury. About ten days before the event, I had a foot injury.
‘I tried to train through it and I went down to Stretford and ran 4:19 for 1500m. I knew then that even if I ran that twice I’d be so far off the pace in the 3000m at Loughborough that I would be embarrassing the Scotland vest.
‘So I had to flag the injury, pull out and let someone else have a chance. Then I went over to America and it didn’t go too well!
‘I’ve represented Scotland in cross country before but the track and field vest is a big honour. It was a really competitive race on Sunday (seven of 14 athletes set PBs) and it went off quick. Thankfully I grew stronger and finished third in terms of the Match athletes.’
The Cambuslang Harriers athlete acknowledged that endurance selections are becoming ever more competitive among Scottish men.
‘Five years ago I made the team at 8.19 for the distance but that would never get you the selection now such is the strength of our endurance at the moment.
‘I ran 8:04 indoors this year but I’m well aware there are a number of guys who might have had the pick. But it’s healthy competition and drives people on.’
Emily Craig in action in the Women’s 400m Match race the Loughborough International (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Trainee accountant Emily Craig was crunching numbers when she received word that a number of years of hard work added up to a Scotland selection.
The 400m hurdler represented Scotland four years ago at U20 level but didn’t give up hope of a repeat.
Craig’s selection is a further feather in the cap for group of athletes who started their journey at Whitemoss AAC (coached by Iain McEwan) a few years ago and has seen international honours bestowed on the likes of Emma Canning, Holly McArthur and Scott Connal.
‘It’s good to get the Scotland vest,’ said Emily, with Scott having represented Scotland in the sprint hurdles on Sunday.
‘I was working from home – I’m training to be an accountant – when the email dropped in. It was a really nice moment and a wee distraction from work!
‘It’s been a few years since I won a Scotland vest at U20 level but you have to keep it in mind as a goal and keep working hard. It definitely helps motivate you.
‘There were some top English athletes in the race so it’s a different environment for me, really. But I enjoyed the experience and the honour of representing Scotland.’
Craig still trains with McArthur and added: ‘The original groups has kind of gone different ways and different places but we keep in touch and support each other. It was good to have Scott in the team as well on Sunday as a familiar face.’
SCOTLAND AT LOUGHBOROUGH#SALtogether
Well done to @amykennedy42 @ScottConnal representing Scotland after a really tough week (losing their coach, Colin Sinclair)
📷 @Bobby_ThatOneMo @CumbernauldA @AliGrey73 @AllanHammy @SAL_Coaching @SALChiefExec pic.twitter.com/F43IvO2q29
— scottishathletics (@scotathletics) May 23, 2022
David Smith in action at Gold Coast 2018 (photo by Bobby Gavin)
David Smith is no stranger to Scotland vests and the high jumper has his sights set on another Commonwealth Games appearance – and making the final.
Smith did exactly that four years ago in Gold Coast 2018 when he finished 10th in Australia. That followed on from a home Games when the Giffnock North AC athlete competed at Hampden.
Now the British Indoor champion feels he is in good shape for the weeks ahead after a 2.19m win at the Loughborough International.
‘I’d love to be representing Team Scotland at my third Games, of course I would,’ said David.
‘I am back living in Scotland now but I was in Birmingham for eight years from 2013 so it was my ‘hometown’ for a long time.
‘I was a finalist in Gold Coast and it would be brilliant to be a finalist again in 2022 and see if I can finish even higher up the places or challenge for the medals.
‘I’ve a couple of comps coming up and was happy enough with the win at Loughborough. You want to win full points for Scotland in the Match as a priority and I did that.’
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