Zoey Clark will bid for her fifth major championship medal when she represents Great Britain in next month’s European Indoor Championships at Torun, Poland.
The Aberdeen AAC sprinter is included in a strong 4x400m relay squad which also includes fellow Scot Beth Dobbin (Edinburgh AC).
Clark was part of the GB relay team which took silver behind Poland at the previous European indoor championships in Glasgow two years ago.
She has also won world indoor bronze (2018), world outdoor silver (2017) and European outdoor bronze (2019).
Now she’s on the hunt for another medal, but admits a podium position cannot be taken for granted.
She said: “It will be good to be challenging for a medal again, although we’ll have our work cut out. The Dutch team has improved and looks strong, while Poland will be defending the title on home ground.
“I reckon we have a good squad. There are four of us who have run sub-53 seconds, so that’s always going to be a strong group.
“But because some of them will have their individual races, we need depth to make sure we get through the rounds.
“If we are in the final, we’ll definitely be challenging for a medal. I’m excited about being part of a relay squad again.”
Clark’s enthusiasm for the relay is unquestioned, but she would ideally have liked to have been taking part in the individual 400m in Poland as well.
She currently tops the UK rankings after setting a Scottish native record of 52.03secs in Glasgow earlier in the month.
But her form deserted her at the trials in Manchester last weekend when English runners Jodie Williams, Jessie Knight and Ama Pipi were all quicker.
Clark said: “I maybe tried to squeeze too much training into the period between my previous competition and going to Manchester. Whatever, it just wasn’t my weekend and it was disappointing, but you live and learn.”
Rees just misses out
Alisha Rees says she has taken a lot of positives from her short indoor season despite being unable to break her Scottish 60m record.
The 21-year-old Great Britain international ran five races over a three-week period, competing in Glasgow, Loughborough and London.
She produced a series of consistent performances – the best being 7.36secs, which is the fourth fastest by a British athlete this year.
It’s also tantalisingly short of her national record of 7.32 set last January and it was unfortunately adrift of the 7.25 required for a place on the GB team for next month’s European Indoor Championships in Poland.
Rees had mixed feelings about her short and sharp campaign, but feels there’s a lot of encouraging signs for the summer season.
She said: “The times I got weren’t really what I wanted and I don’t think they reflect what I’m capable of doing.
“I can take positives as I know what I need to work on. For example, I know the back end of my race is really strong at moment.
“Once I am up to speed, I feel I’m better than 7.36. I am quicker than that, but my start at the moment hasn’t been quite right in these races
“I feel I only get into my running at 40m and, by the time the 60m is finished, I feel I’ve so much more to give.
“So, it’s encouraging for when I get into the longer 100m and 200m races in the summer.”
Rees is now enjoying a couple of days break from training before starting her build-up towards the summer season.
She said: “I’ve been racing for each of the past three weeks, in Glasgow, Loughborough and London. It takes a lot out of your body, so I need a few days to recover before getting back into some hard work and looking forward to the summer.”
Rees admits she may only have an outside chance of selection in the 4x100m relay at the Olympic Games, but the European championships and European under-23 championships are more realistic targets.
She said: “I just want to run as fast as possible. I’m not sure whether to focus on the 100m or 200m, so I’ll try both to see how it goes.
“I’ll probably open my season quite early as the trials are scheduled for June and it takes me a good few races to get up to speed.”