Andrew Butchart: races 5000m in Holland on Sunday
There’s a big weekend of events looming up for some of Scotland’s elite athletes away from the traditional early-season team event at the Loughborough International.
From the Night of the 10Ks at Highgate in London on Saturday evening – with Olympic places up for grabs – to the IAAF World Challenge meet in Hengelo in Holland the following day, and a Diamond League date in Rabat, too, opportunity knocks for the likes of Beth Potter, Andrew Butchart and Lynsey Sharp.
A number of good performances in the United States have already set the tone for some of these athletes and here’s hoping that can be followed up this weekend.
Let’s start with the British Champs at 10,000m at the Highgate Night of 10ks meet. Potter already has run inside the GB qualifying standard (32.15) with a big PB in Californian earlier this summer (32.03) so now a top two finish in London would clinch her ticket to Rio.
With the likes of Jo Pavey and Kate Avery in opposition, however, an exciting race seems certain when the Women’s A race starts at 8.15pm on Saturday.
Sarah Inglis of Lothian Running Club is also in the field for that race and will be looking to significantly improve her PB, after a long absence from racing this distance on the track.
In the Men’s division, Commonwealth Games athlete Luke Caldwell is in the A race at 9pm and will hope to get involve in the battle at the front for Olympic selection.
Others from Scottish clubs are listed at the moment in the B race – Inverclyde AC duo Craig Ruddy and Jonny Glen; Scottish 10,000m champion, Will Mackay of Aberdeen AAC; Scottish 5K champion, Mark Mitchell of Forres Harriers; and Corstorphine AAC’s Dougie Selman.
Highgate Night of the 10Ks start-lists are online
Allan Smith: competes in Hengelo
Hengelo in Holland stages the IAAF World Challenge meeting the following day and there are three Scots racing at 5000m.
Andrew Butchart smashed his PB in America a few weeks ago with a run of 13.18 to claim an Olympic standard (13.24) and would love to add a second qualifying mark now ahead of the British Champs and Trials in Birmingham on June 24-26.
Eilish McColgan is in a similar position after a 15.09 run for a massive PB in California and Eilish feels there is further improvement to come this summer.
For Josephine Moultrie, who raced in the World indoors final in Portland at 3000m, there’s a chance to compete in a high-class race at 5000m for the first time. The Olympic qualifying standard for GB Women is 15.24.
Guy Learmonth competes in the 800m while Allan Smith is another Scot in action in the high jump.
Start-lists for Hengelo are online
Finally, Rabat in Morocco is the venue for the latest Diamond League meeting as the new season gets up and running after Doha and China.
And Lynsey Sharp will dip her toe in the 800m again after running a 400m PB at Loughborough in a low-key meet last week.
The Scot will be right back in the big time in Rabat with the Women’s 800m field also featuring Caster Semenya, Marina Arzamasava and Eunice Sum. British rival Shelayna Oskan-Clarke also races.