Super Sunday as Scots star in Birmingham

Monday 3rd July 2017

Steph Twell and Eilish McColgan celebrate their 5000m 1-2 (photo courtesy of British Athletics via Getty Images)


Coverage in The National

Six Scots sealed their places for the London 2017 World Champs with Team GB and NI on a super Sunday at the Alexander Stadium.

Eilidh Doyle, Zoey Clark, Chris O’Hare and Steph Twell all took gold medals and there were silver medals and automatic qualifications slots for Josh Kerr and Eilish McColgan.

They joined Andy Butchart, the 5000m champion from Saturday, in adding to the cohort of four Scots already selected for the Worlds.

It means there will be a minimum of 11 Scots in the team in London – a representation record well beyond the previous bests of seven athletes in 1983 and 2015.

The medal count overall for the weekend was also spectacular: we make it 18 in all gathered up in a remarkable hail which out-stripped last year’s tally.

GOLD: Butchart, Percy, Doyle, O’Hare, Clark, Twell.

SILVER: McColgan, Kerr, David Smith, Jax Thoirs, Guy Learmonth, Kirsty Law, Emma Nuttall, Rachel Hunter

BRONZE: Lynsey Sharp, Jake Wightman, Nikki Manson, Mark Dry.

Chris O’Hare crosses the line first in the Men’s 1500m

Chris O’Hare led home a Scottish 1-2-3 for the British Champs medals at 1500 on a dramatic day. In fact, it was an all-Edinburgh AC podium as O’Hare was joined by silver medallist Josh Kerr and bronze medallist, Jake Wightman.

‘I won the British Champs in 2013 but since then it’s been a hassle to get back on top, but it feels really good to be back,’ said Chris.

‘It was so tough out there and I spent a lot of the warm-up on the physio bed getting my hamstring sorted out as I kept cramping up. Once the gun went and the adrenaline kicked in that was parked though, and I’m delighted to have finished, and finished first. ‘

Eilidh Doyle won her 400m Hurdles final with a run of 55.59 which she described as ‘messy’ – but it got the job done with the Scottish Record holder claiming an automatic place for London 2017.
It will be Eilidh’s fifth World Champs after first competing at Berling in 2009.

‘It was ok – obviously I came here for the win, but the race wasn’t the best; it was messy and my race in the heat was actually a lot better, whereas in the final I took hurdle five with the wrong let and it put me off for the second half of the race,’s aid Eilidh.

‘I got the win and it was a decent enough time so I can’t really complain though. I always think it’s useful to come here and get two back to back races in as it’s the best preparation ahead of a championships.

‘I’ve got three of four more races coming up before the world championships, most of which will be Diamond League meets, so hopefully they can bring quick times and more better races.’

Zoey Clark wins gold

Zoey Clark is British Women’s 400m champion and heading to the World Champs for her first major championship event!

The Aberdeen AAC athlete was the rankings leader prior to the Women’s 400m final and she proved her quality with a well-judged run to edge out Emily Diamond and qualify for London with 52.30,  after already making the standard.

‘This season has been the season of my dreams so far, the past couple of weeks I’ve had a bit of a niggle which wasn’t the best preparation, but my racing has just been on the up since the turn of the year,’ said Zoey.

‘It is fantastic to be heading to London to represent GB and NI at a World Champs event. I don’t really know what has changed, but something is paying off for me.’

Lynsey Sharp must wait and see on her selection, however. The Olympian, and rankings leader in the Women’s 800m, was just edged into third place for a bronze in the final as Shelayna Oskan-Clarke won it.

Adelle Tracey took the silver by one hundredth in 2.01.80 to Lynsey’s 2.01.81 on a day when Mhairi Hendry produced her second PB of the weekend at 2.03.37 for fifth place.

Steph Twell and Eilish McColgan went 1-2 int he 5000m final to both secure their places for London.

Twell, who ran 15.35.50 to win after a great surge over the last 200m, said: ‘I’m delighted – this is like the end result of a year’s work so far; I’m not a full-time athlete, so coming in today was a test of limited training. I was strategic in that race and there’s a lot to take away.

‘I was in control, I was running my race and it paid off. I’ve always known I ‘have a strong finish, so it’s just about using it more and more and showing it. It’s coming back out after all their years. I think and feel like I’m starting to peak.’

There were fine performances by Jax Thoirs and Guy Learmonth to take silver medals in Birmingham.
Jax went so close to the gold in the pole vault as he lost out in a jump-off with Luke Cutts at 5.45 after clearing 5.40. And Guy took second to Elliot Giles in a tight men’s 800m final.

David Smith was another silver medallist, with a share of second place in the men’s high jump with 2.20 his best clearance on the day. Kirsty Law was in action in the Women’s discus and took a silver with 52.73 behind champion Jade Lally. That was an improvement on the bronze Kirsty won last year.

There was a bronze medal for Mark Dry in the men’s hammer as he came up with 70.51 in his final throw to get ahead of Chris Bennett by a single cm.

*Five medals had arrived on the first day as Nick Percy and Andy Butchart successfully defended their British titles at discus and 5000m; Rachel Hunter took silver in the hammer; and Emma Nuttall (silver) and Nikki Manson (bronze) were on the podium in the high jump.

It wasn’t all about medallists. There were terrific PBs from Jemma Reekie and Beth Dobbin on Sunday and fifth place finishes in the long jump for Sarah Warnock and Allan Hamilton. Dobbin clocked 23.31 in the 200m heats and then took sixth place in the final.


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