Scotland’s top three ranked male high jumpers for last year are on the start-list for Sunday’s Senior Indoor Champs at the Emirates Arena.
A number of Team Scotland athletes from Glasgow 2014 have chosen to chase good performances and championship medals with the British Indoors event looming in Sheffield a fortnight.
So there’s an opportunity for the Scottish athletics community to gather at the Emirates and watch in action those they cheered on at Hampden last summer and, in some cases, who proudly wore Scotland vests at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International last weekend.
The Commonwealth Games athletes to enter include Ray Bobrownicki, Sarah Warnock, Zoey Clark, Rachael Mackenzie, David Smith, Kirsty Yates, Chris Bennett, Angus McInroy, Greg Louden, Grant Plenderleith and Jade Nimmo – and a number of those will be defending titles won at the Emirates last season.
Sunday’s Senior event culminates another hectic weekend of activity in Scotland with more than 500 Masters athletes gearing up for their National XC at Kilmarnock on Saturday and a track and field championship the same day at the Emirates. With a record Women’s entry in the Masters XC, there are more positive signs about legacy impacting on the sport following the Commonwealth Games.
High jumper Bobrownicki was the Scotland pick for the Glasgow International – where he finished second at 2.19 – following his 2.20 performance in a Glasgow Open Graded meet prior to Christmas.
But on Sunday he could face a real challenge from David Smith and Euro U23 medallist Allan Smith, with the latter having jumped 2.24 recently in France.
‘I don’t know exactly who will be there on Sunday and I’m not going to think about it too much,’ said Ray, who was champion in 2014 at 2.17 and finished ninth in the Commonwealth Games final at Hampden.
‘I prefer to focus on those elements that I can control and on the performance itself, as those things never change. If I can continue to build upon what I did in the International, then I’m excited to see what will happen at the Scottish Senior Indoors and beyond.
‘I feel I’m in a good place at the moment and ready to jump well. Training has been good this winter. My shoes split open a couple of days before the International event so I had a new pair on that day and it wasn’t ideal. We’ll see what happens on Sunday.’
With Kilbarchan’s Jack Lochans and Lasswade’s Robert Ferguson also both on the start-list, there could well be five Scottish men jumping over 2m on Sunday and that would certainly augur well for high jump in this country with those two younger athletes having made a lot of progress over the past year or so.
Rachael Mackenzie claimed a Commonwealth Games standard to win the Women’s high jump at last year’s event and the Inverness athlete looks favourite as does Warnock in the long jump.
Their Glasgow 2014 team-mates, McInroy and Bennett, will try their hand at the shot, where Glasgow 2014 finalist Yates is a strong favourite for the Women’s gold.
Elsewhere in the field events, Peter Muirhead and Sam Adams won Scotland vests in the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International match and will look to impress in the men’s long jump and pole vault respectively.
On the track, there will be plenty of attention on the sprints with a couple of visiting athletes threatening to be in contention for medals.
Northern Irish international Amy Foster will challenge Kathryn Christie and Zoey Clark in the 60m while the likes of Ryan Oswald, Cameron Tindle, Tom Holligan, Grant Plenderleith and Louden could make the podium.
The men’s 400m certainly looks like a straight fight between three of the Scotland 4 x 400m quartet from last weekend as the start list features Louden, Pat Swan and David Martin. The Women’s 200 could be one of the better races on the day with the contenders set to include Christie, Clark, Stacey Downie, Beth Dobbin, Alisha Rees and Chloe Lambert.
Katy Brown and Myles Edwards would love to add championship success to the Scotland vests they won last week at 800m and 1500m respectively but the likes of Mhairi Hendry and Grant Muir will seek to deny them those golds.
The action start at 12 noon in both track and field with the final event of the day scheduled for 16.55pm.It is just £3 for adults and U16s are free with competing athletes and registered scottishathletics coaches free, as well.
More on www.scottishathletics.org.uk
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