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Olympic focus: Eilidh Doyle analysis and interview with Steph Davis

Saturday 17th July 2021

Jake Wightman and Josh Kerr battle for the line at the Olympic Trials in Manchester (photo by Getty Images via British Athletics)

‘Fitting and appropriate we say thanks to Eilidh Doyle’ – Mark Pollard

Eilidh Doyle competed twice at the Olympics in a superb track and field career – appearing first at London 2012 and then making the final in the 400m hurdles final in Rio in 2016.

Like so many of us right across athletics in Scotland, Eilidh is thrilled at the Scottish cohort for Japan 2020 reaching double figures within the Team GB and NI track and field selection.

Each of those selected has a story to tell and will have different hopes and aspirations for Japan. As we continue our own Olympic Countdown we will seek to cover off a number of angles around those athletes.

Here, Eilidh spoke to the Scottish Daily Mail, to assess the prospects for six of the track athletes while, further down this story, we look towards the marathon where Callum Hawkins, Steph Twell and Steph Davis will compete.

Here are the thoughts of Eilidh Doyle on . . .

Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie

‘This is hugely interesting. Laura had intended doubling up (800 and 1500) but will now focus on the longer distance only.

‘The 800m is such a tactical race and it is just a challenge negotiating heats to get to the final.

‘But once in the final anything can happen and Jemma could certainly contest the medals. The 1500 is a bit more open. I fancy Laura’s chances in the 1500m and know she will be really determined to make her mark.’

Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman

‘They had such a great race in the Olympic trials. And the way they ran in the trials is the way they have to run in Tokyo.

‘The speed they have in their legs means they have a chance to get a medal if they get it right. That is what is so exciting about distance races – different to my race (400m hurdles) where you just run as fast as you can – these races are about tactics.

‘I feel the 800m and 1500m heats for both men and women in Japan will be dangerous because people can play games about pace and tactics and in the 800m in particular the qualifying route can be tough.

‘The four Scots – Jake, Josh, Jemma and Laura – could all get medals but, given tactics and the difficulty of heats, they could potentially miss out, too.’

Zoey Clark and Nicole Yeargin

‘Nicole is a member of Pitreavie and has already had a tough season in the USA. She goes in the individual 400m after finishing fourth in the NCAA final and moving to third on the Scottish all-time list.

‘Both Nicole and Zoey should have a great chance of a medal in the 4x400m relay.

‘That particular relay team usually does well for GB and NI and the Women’s 400m in Britain this year has been so competitive that times are coming down.’

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Steph Davis and her Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds connection

Steph Davis is getting ready for her first Olympics, and also the first time she has worn the GB vest.

The Clapham Chasers athlete is headed for Japan with a PB of 2:27.16 – achieved at the Trials in London’s Kew Gardens at the end of March – and looking forward to the fourth marathon of her career.

Video interview with thanks to Virgin Money London Marathon

 

Tags: Eilidh Doyle, Jake Wightman, Jemma Reekie, Josh Kerr, Laura Muir, Nicole Yeargin, Olympic focus, Steph Davis, Tokyo 2020, Zoey Clark

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