COMMONWEALTH GAMES REPORT

So it’s all over for another 4 years. Scotland improved their medal haul but there’s a lot of ifs and maybes in the total. If Callum Hawkins hadn’t succumbed so courageously to the heat and humidity when in the gold medal position; if Laura Muir hadn’t (correctly) put her studies first; if Andy Butchart and Jax Thoirs hadn’t been ruled out through injury; if Nick Percy and Josh Kerr had been released by their US colleges …

 

But life is what it is and there were some top class performances at these Games, combined with some disappointing ones. At the end of the day, these Games were a bit of a mixed bag.

 

Read the full report here

CLUB CHANGES - April 2018

The following changes of club have been approved by scottishathletics with effect from 1 April 2018: 

Alexandra Burns,  Helensburgh to Edinburgh; Yvonne Cantlie,  Spey Runners to Moray Road Runners; Liam Fotheringham, Arbroath & District to Dundee Hawkhill; Patrick Gibbons, Garscube to Helensburgh; David Lees, Larkhall to Giffnock North; Thomas Litterick, Aberdeen to Metro Aberdeen; Calum Little & Craig Little, Cumbernauld to Falkirk Victoria; Connor Maclean, Stornoway to Kilbarchan; Helen Sharpe, Bristol & West to Fife; Isla Steel, Dunfermline to Pitreavie; Michael Stone, Cosmic Hill Bashers to Metro Aberdeen; Innes Wright, Haddington to East Lothian.

JOSH DOES IT AGAIN AS SCOTS TAKE DOUBLE GOLD AT NCAA

 

 

10 March 2018. JOSH KERR has won the NCAA Indoor Championship Mile for the 2nd year in a row when he took the title at College Station, Texas on Saturday. Having won the outdoor 1500 title last year as well, he has now won the 3 consecutive NCAA titles. He joins fellow Scots Meg Ritchie and Kathy Butler with 3 track and field titles (although Butler was consider Canadian at the time of her achievement).

This year, Kerr was the man to beat. He was the odds-on favorite, a position he strengthened after running the sixth-fastest time in NCAA history in February and winning his preliminary-round heat on Friday. In Saturday's final, Kerr moved up to the front after the first lap before ceding the position halfway through the eight-lap race. He eventually moved back into the lead with about three laps to go, out-kicking the field over the final 600 meters. He closed the final 400 meters of the race in a field-best 54.23 seconds. Kerr's final time was 3:57.02, more than 1.3 seconds ahead of runner up Vincent Ciattei of Virginia Tech. Kerr's mark was also the eighth-fastest time in NCAA Championship history.

Behind him NEIL GOURLEY, 4th last year finished 7th in 4:00.64 in his 3rd race of the weekend. Having qualified for the mile final on Friday, he also anchored the Virginia Tech team to gold with a final leg 3:58.64 1600 metres (approximately 10 metres short of the mile) to bring Virginia home in 9:30.76, 0.46 seconds ahead of Notre Dame.

That's the first time in NCAA history that 2 Scots have won gold at the same championship. For the record of Scots athletes at the NCAA, follow this link.

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations

High jumper Emma Nuttall (photo above at 2014 Games by Bobby Gavin) has had to withdraw from the Scotland team for the Commonwealth Games next month. In a new blog that she has started on https://emmanutt.wordpress.com she has talked about the experience. Thanks to Emma for allowing us to share this. 

[read here]

CLUB CHANGES - March 2018

The following changes of club have been approved by scottishathletics with effect from 1 March 2018: 

Andrew Bonner, Giffnock North to Glasgow City; Darrin Cameron, Moray Road Runners to Elgin; Charlotte Clare, Moorfoot Runners to Lasswade; Shirley-Anne Feaks, Forres to Moray Road Runners; Jacqueline Ferrari, Pitreavie to Metro Aberdeen; Hannah Hamilton-Meikle, Chirnside Chasers to Team East Lothian; Callum Hendry, Cumbernauld AAC to Falkirk Victoria; Hannah Lawler, Edinburgh to VP-Glasgow; David Ross, Giffnock North to East Kilbride; Matthew Stewart, VP-Glasgow to Cumbernauld; Melanie Sinclair, Carnegie to Pitreavie.

MUIR THE SHINING STAR AT WORLD INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

LAURA MUIR confirmed she is now a presence on the World stage with a double-medal winning performance at the World Indoor Championships at Birmingham last weekend. 

Both the 3000 metres and the 1500 featured the same three athletes in the medal positions and the races run in similar style - a slowish start, then a wind-up to the finish. The first kilometre in the 3000 was reached in 3:14.67 before Klosterhallen took the field through the next 1000 in 2:52.95. The final kilometre took just 2:37.43 with Hassan, veering to the right, holding off Muir for silver; Muir delighted at gaining her first global medal.

The 1500 went Dibaba's way as well , winning in 4:05.27 after a final 700 in 1:44.46 (sub-2 pace for 800). Muir "I ran my socks off" reversed the placings on Hassan to become the first Scot to win two medals at an individual World Championships, indoor or out. Although the insinuations on Dibaba because of her coach hang over her, she remains one of the true greats of athletics, winning her 5th World indoor title.

Eilidh Doyle gained the first-ever medal in the women's 400 by a Briton in a strong run that won her the bronze medal. She was only a metre behind Wimbley, who has an outdoor 50.36, and improved her time in each round, reaching a season's best 51.60 in the final.

She and Zoey Clark benefited from the numerous disqualifications to reach the final and Zoey performed well to reach the final before going on to anchor the British quartet to the bronze medal in the 4x400 metres.

The men's 1500 turned out to be a 700 metres race after the first 800 was reached in 2:23.68. That left the two Scots Jake Wightman and Chris O'Hare trailing in the wake of faster finishers,with Jake 0.48 off the bronze medal position in 6th. Chris was troubled by a foot injury and related lack of confidence but will hopefully have enough time to strengthen before the Commonwealth Games. 

Grant Plenderleith performed exceptionally well on his international debut. Part of a British team  that finished 6th in the 4x400 final, he produced an excellent 45.75 time on the 2nd leg. Mhairi Hendry ran a solid 2:02.65 in the 800 heats, faster than her pre-2018 best, and will learn greatly from this experience.

Finally, a word about the disqualifications that blighted some events - while undoubtedly correct under the rules, in Lord Coe's brave new world for athletics where entertainment is the key, spectators will not want to be left wondering what will change after the event is run. There may well be pressure on IAAF to review the rules in this area.

RACHEL HUNTER OUT OF COMMONWEALTH GAMES TEAM

1 March 2018. North Ayrshire hammer thrower Rachel Hunter has been forced to withdraw from the Scotland team for the Commonwealth Games on medical grounds,  Team Scotland announced today. This follows on from earlier withdrawals by Jax Thoirs, Emma Nuttall and Andy Butchart. Rachel was ranked 7th in the Commonwealth last year.

 

The updated team going to the Commonwealth Games is:

 

Men: Chris Bennett, Mark Dry, Callum Hawkins, Guy Learmonth, Chris O’Hare, Robbie Simpson, Allan Smith, David Smith, Jake Wightman.

 

Women: Amy Carr (para), Zoey Clark, Eilidh Doyle, Sammi Kinghorn (para), Maria Lyle (para), Holly McArthur, Kirsten McAslan (relay), Eilish McColgan, Nikki Manson, Lynsey Sharp, Kelsey Stewart (relay), Stephanie Twell, Lennie Waite.

RECORD 8 SCOTS SELECTED FOR WORLD INDOORS

Debuts for Mhairi Hendry and Grant Plenderleith

Grant Plenderleith (photo: Bobby Gavin)
Grant Plenderleith (photo: Bobby Gavin)

20 February 2018. British Athletics today announced a team of 31 athletes, including 8 Scots, for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Birmingham 2018 from 1-4 March.

 

That is double the previous largest number of Scots selected for these championships. For a full record of past selections and performances, visit our complete record page.

 

Reigning European indoor champion Laura Muir confirmed her place with victory at the SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham – the same venue as the World Championships – at the weekend. Muir will be at chasing the 1500m/3000m double she achieved at last year's European Indoor Championships.

Fellow British indoor champions Eilidh Doyle, Jake Wightman and Eilish McColgan also had their selection confirmed.

Zoey Clark and Chris O’Hare have also been selected to represent Britain again six months after the IAAF World Championships in London and there are international debuts for Mhairi Hendry in the 800 metres and Grant Plenderleith in the 4x400 metres relay.

 

The team is:

Men - 60m: CJ Ujah, Andrew Robertson. 400m: Lee Thompson. 800m: Elliot Giles. 1500m: Jake Wightman, Chris O’Hare. 3000m: Jonathan Davies. 60m hurdles: Andrew Pozzi, David King. High jump: Robbie Grabarz. Long jump: Greg Rutherford. 4x400m: Lee Thompson, Jamal Rhoden-Stevens, Grant Plenderleith, Owen Smith, Sebastian Rodger, Efe Okoro. 

Women - 60m: Asha Philip, Daryll Neita. 400m: Eilidh Doyle, Zoey Clark. 800m: Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, Mhairi Hendry. 1500m: Eilish McColgan, Laura Muir. 3000m: Laura Muir, Eilish McColgan. 60m hurdles: Marilyn Nwawulor. High jump: Morgan Lake. Pentathlon: Katarina Johnson-Thompson. 4x400m relay: Eilidh Doyle, Zoey Clark, Amy Allcock, Anyika Onuora, Meghan Beesley, Hannah Williams.

NATIONAL RECORDS FOR NIKKI MANSON & CHRIS O'HARE

Commonwealth Games team hit by injury

Nikki Manson, photo by Bobby Gavin
Nikki Manson, photo by Bobby Gavin

10 February 2018. Glasgow and Boston were the venues for outstanding Scottish performances as the record book continues to be re-written. 

 

First up was Laura Muir who bettered the 12-year-old native indoor record of Susan Scott in winning the 1500 metres in 4:05.37, taking 6.02 seconds off the old record.

 

Then Nikki Manson, who just missed out on Commonwealth Games selection, improved her high jump best from 1.87 to 1.90, a 2cm improvement on Emma Nuttall's Scottish indoor record, having dismantled the native indoor record of 1.83 that has lasted for 29 years with an earlier jump of 1.85.

 

Over to Boston and for the second time in a week, Scottish athletes produced a 1-2 in the States. A week ago, Chris O'Hare led home Josh Kerr at the prestigious Wanamaker Nile at the Millrose Games; today he was victorious over Jake Wightman at the New Balance IAAF Grand Prix over 1500 metres in a new Scottish indoor record of 3:37.03. Wightman, whose last indoor 1500 was a 4:02.43 at the Scottish Schools in 2012, was second in 3:37.43 to move 2nd on the indoor all-time lists.

 

The previous day, Nick Percy improved his Scottish indoor best for the weight throw for the 3rd time this year with a 21.69 throw.

 

There was bad news, however, when it was announced that 3 athletes - Andrew Butchart, Jax Thoirs and Emma Nuttall - have had to withdraw from the Commonwealth Games team through injury.

CLUB MOVES - FEBRUARY

The following changes of club have been approved by scottishathletics with effect from 1 February 2018:

Aimee Anderson, Giffnock North to East Kilbride; Daniel Burns, Garscube to Clydesdale; Kenneth Cairns, Penicuik to Perth Road Runners; Iona Carft, Skye & Lochalsh to Moray RR; Amy Craig, Maryhill to Cambuslang; Timothy Griffin, Cosmic Hillbashers to Aberdeen; Alan Heron, Dumbarton to Bellahouston RR; Charlotte Hill, Inverness to Aberdeen; Ellie McDonald, Linlithgow to Falkirk Victoria; Amelia Vance, Greenock Glenpark to Inverclyde.

RECORDS TUMBLE AT SCOTTISH INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS

National and Native Records for Laura Muir, Zoey Clark & Heather Paton

Heather Paton winning the 60H in record time, photo by Bobby Gavin
Heather Paton winning the 60H in record time, photo by Bobby Gavin

28 January 2018. RECORDS TUMBLED at the FPSG Scottish Senior Championships at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow today. Laura Muir became the first Scot to break 2 minutes for 800 metres indoors to set new National and Native records, winning in 1:59.69. Behind her, Mhairi Hendry became the 3rd fastest all-time with 2:02.41 and Philippa Millage set a Masters best performance of 2:05.96 for the bronze.

Zoey Clark showed she is in excellent form with an opening run of the season of 23.58 in the 200 metres to better Susan Burnside's native record of 23.67 and Melanie Neef's national record of 23.62.

In the 60 metres hurdles, Heather Paton sped to a title win of 8.34, a time which equals the national record held jointly by her and Gemma Werrett, and betters her own native record set last year of 8.37.

There were 3 Scottish indoor masters V35 bests for new vet Gillian Cooke in the pole vault, long jump and triple jump, and one also for Mhairi Porterfield who won the shot title in 13.54, a performance that removes her previous best, under her maiden name of Mhairi Walters, from the all-time lists.

EDINBURGH COUNCIL DITCHES GREAT EDINBURGH XC

15 January 2018. The Great Edinburgh XC International Challenge may have seen its last race in the city following a decision from City of Edinburgh Council to withdraw its financial support. The annual backing, reported to be more than £100,000, comes at a time when authorities are being asked to make deep cuts to budgets, But the decision to end the capital’s lone world-class event, following on the closure of Meadowbank Stadium, is a major blow to the sport and effectively moves Edinburgh off the map as an athletics venue.

scottishathletics chief executive Mark Munro said: “This year, the public were running from point to point to watch Laura Muir’s victory in the 4x1km relay. Quite simply, it’s an event that brings the athletics community and general public together,” he said. “Whilst understanding the financial challenges we all face just now, it is extremely disappointing that the City of Edinburgh Council have made the decision to remove their financial contribution. We will work with Great Run Company and Event Scotland to see if there are opportunities to continue with the event elsewhere in Scotland.”

Happy New Year!

Wishing you all a happy, healthy and successful 2018. Welcome to SATS 2018 - the 2017 news stories have been relocated in the Earlier News pages (see menu on the right).

 

It promises to be an exciting year with the Commonwealth Games taking place in Australia in April - it certainly doesn't seem 4 years since we were at Hampden Park!

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The Scottish Association of Track Statisticians has documented athletics performances in Scotland for over 50 years and this website provides authoritative and factual information on performances, rankings, athlete profiles, and records as well as documenting the history of the sport in Scotland.

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