Hampden here they come! That’s how we revealed on scottishathletics Facebook on Wednesday evening that the 4 x 400m men’s relay team had landed the qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games.
A fine team effort in Belgium ensured the quartet of Kris Robertson, Greg Louden, Grant Plenderleith and Jamie Bowie clocked 3.06.58 and are set to be our first one-lap relay squad at the Games since 1990.
That’s under the 3.07.00 that was required for Glasgow 2014 and now another clutch of athletes and coaches can start thinking realistically about Glasgow 2014.
Adding to the feelgood factor was a 4.05 clearance by Henrietta Paxton to give the pole vaulter her first outdoor standard to add to indoor performances.
Paxton went to the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and can now start to think about an appearance at a second Games for Scotland.
So Scotland’s track and field team is growing and, as the close of the window for qualification performance looms on June 8, it will be interesting to see exactly what size the squad becomes.
The Scot Stats website confirm there were 55 athletes in the 1970 team in Edinburgh and 56 for the 1986 Games when the event returned to the capital.
Unofficial splits for the relay run in Namur, Belgium, were as follows: Robertson 47.4; Louden 46.4; Plenderleith 46.2; Bowie 46.5. Jamie had of course been in the Bahamas with Team GB and NI for the World Relays and made the long journey back to Europe on Monday.
The 3.06.58 is the second best on the all-time list by Scottish men for the 4 x 400m event.
It is a time only bettered by our 1990 silver medallists, when Mark Davidson, Tom McKean, David Strang and Brian Whittle recorded the National Record of 3.04.68.
That 1990 effort is also the last time a Scottish men’s team qualified for the games at 4 x 400m.