Laura Muir to feature in the scottishathletics National Open this weekend

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Laura Muir guided Scotland to an athletics trophy in the Great Edinburgh XC – but this weekend swaps her cross country spikes for the indoor track at the Emirates Arena on her road to Rio.

The GB international and World Champs 1500m finalist in Beijing ran the anchor leg as Scotland A claimed the inaugural Stewart Cup trophy for the 4 x 1K International Relay at Holyrood Park.

Now Muir is planning a couple of indoor races in Glasgow in readiness for the summer outdoor season which will surely culminate with her first appearance at the Olympics in August.

‘I am not taking on a full indoor season this year but my coach Andy Young and I have decided to schedule a couple of indoor events in Scotland,’ said 22-year-old Muir, who has no plans to compete at the World indoors in America in March.

‘I will head to the scottishathletics National Open at the Emirates on Saturday where I plan to do an 800m and a 400m because the timetable gives me the opportunity to do that. Then I will be back there a couple of weeks later for the Scottish Seniors on January 30. I plan to do the 800m that day.’

Four of Scotland’s six medallists at the Commonwealth Youth Games are expected to feature at the National Open, with the start-lists including Rachel Alexander, Ben Greenwood, Alisha Rees and Cameron Tindle. There are welcome comebacks for Jade Nimmo and John McCall.

‘The National Open marks the start of the indoor season for many track and field athletes, although the 3000m Champs at the Glasgow Athletics Association Miler Meet has already witnessed some good performances,’ said Rodger Harkins, scottishathletics Director of Coaching.

‘At this time of year it is probably about finding out where you are at after periods of winter training and seeing if you can get a good indication of what is to come later in the year.

‘For many athletes, getting an indoor PB at this time of year can help give encouragement for the outdoor season and we are urging them to try and give their best.

‘There’s barely two years to go now to the Commonwealth Games in Australia – which are in early April 2018. Those with serious ambitions to qualify for Scotland for the Gold Coast will already have a coaching and competition plan and will be working towards that.

‘I’m encouraged by a lot of the work that is happening around the country and it has already been a good start to the New Year with the Great Edinburgh XC last weekend. We’ve a trophy in the bag with the 4 x 1K International Relay win to lift the Stewart Cup!’

Among the athletes on start-lists for the weekend are: Anthony Young, Donald McLeod (400m); Jack Walker, Dale Colley, Cameron Steven (1500m); Adam Thomas (200m); Stephen Dunlop, Ross Maxwell (60m); Angus McInroy (shot); Mhairi Hendry, Jenny Tan (800m); David J Martin, Pete Muirhead, Sarah Warnock (long jump).

The National Open is at the Emirates from 10am on Saturday – adults £3, U16s free.

*Two Scottish Combined Events athletes will win GB vests in Spain next month. Emma Canning (Whitemoss AAC) and Tom Chandler (Central AC) were named by British Athletics at U20 level in a team of 12 for the event in Salamanca on February 20/21.