Banchory Stonehaven AC sprinter Alisha Rees has chosen to miss this weekend’s British athletics championships in Manchester and will now focus her efforts on earning a place on the Great Britain team for the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
The four-time Scottish senior 200m title-holder is currently enjoying a break at her family home in Torphins before returning to Loughborough University, where she is studying for a sociology degree, later in the month.
Rees hasn’t competed since late February when she finished second in the 60m at the British indoor championships in Glasgow.
The Covid-19 crisis caused all major competitions to be cancelled over the summer, although a few meetings are now beginning to emerge, including the British outdoor championships which started on Friday, but Rees isn’t there.
She said: “I’ve finished my training for the summer now so I decided not to go to Manchester. Although I trained well enough during lockdown, it was different to what I’d normally have been doing.
“So, I didn’t want to do anything which would put me at risk of getting injured when I maybe wasn’t 100% prepared.
“There was no point in taking a chance just for one race. It doesn’t matter to me. I decided to concentrate on keeping reasonably fit and writing off this season as far as competition is concerned. I just want to concentrate on getting ready for 2021.
“I really do hope to make the team for the Olympics. I think there’s two or three places up for grabs and there will be a lot of girls going for them.
“There’s probably going to be plenty of other international opportunities. It all depends on what the timetable is for all of these competitions and whether or not I get selected for Tokyo.
“Basically, my aim is to run well and if I do that then the opportunities will come along.”
Although disappointed not to have raced this summer, Rees admits there have been some positives.
She said: “It has given me time to reflect on what I want to achieve and I’m clear about that.
“And I’ve had more time recently to see my friends up here. Normally I’d be in Loughborough or travelling to competitions every week, so I’ve been able to relax a lot more.
“As far as fitness goes, I know I’m not 100%, but I don’t think I’ve lost my speed. I did find it harder to motivate myself, but once I get back into winter training I’ll be absolutely fine.
“I spent some time back in Loughborough recently, but there wasn’t the same atmosphere about the place. I was able to train with three other people from my group, but I was living on my own.
“So I decided to come back home and that has been good. I’ll have a little break from training now then head back to Loughborough in the second half of the month.
“I’ll probably compete indoors at the beginning of the year, if meetings are allowed to go ahead, then It’ll be a case of getting ready for next summer.”