Zoey Clark is seriously considering competing in next month’s European indoor championships after her record-breaking 400m performance in Glasgow last weekend.
The Aberdeen AAC sprinter powered round the track at the Emirates Arena in 52.03secs to finish well ahead of Great Britain team-mate Beth Dobbin in the elite-only invitation event.
Clark’s time is a native record – the fastest indoor 400m run by a Scot in Scotland – surpassing Olympian Eilidh Doyle’s 2018 mark of 52.38.
It’s also the seventh fastest time in the world this year and the third best by a European athlete, behind Dutch runners Femke Bol (50.81) and Like Klaver (51.48).
Clark was happy with her performance, but modestly suggests not too much should be read into her world or Euro ranking.
She said: “It’s a different year from normal as not everyone is racing, but it’s a good place for me to be and it bodes well for the future.”
Although Clark would never admit it, there’s little doubt the two-time Commonwealth Games representative’s current form would make her a serious medal contender in the European indoors, scheduled to be held at Torun, Poland, from March 5-7.
Indeed, she feels in shape to run even quicker before the end of the short winter season.
Clark is warming to the possibility of making the trip to the historic Polish city situated on the bank of the Vistula River next month.
She said: “I am more inclined to do the Euros now, although I’m still keeping an open mind as things change rapidly.
“I feel it would be good for me to do it as it would be great to get some competitive international races at this stage of the year, so I’ll definitely consider it.”
The north-east athlete, who is clearly focused on securing Olympic selection in the summer, will make a final decision about the Euros after competing in the official Great Britain team trial at Manchester on February 20.
Clark has already met the required qualifying standard and needs only another consistent performance to claim a place, but she’s aiming for better.
She said: “I’d like to get under 52secs. I feel it’s there and I just need to get my race right.
“I’m not sure if Manchester is the place to do it as it’s a four-lane track, which isn’t the best, but we’ll see.
“Then I’ll make my mind up about Poland, if it’s still on.”
Rees hopes to hit qualifying standard in Loughborough meet
Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Alisha Rees is another north-east athlete with next month’s European indoor championships in her thoughts.
Aberdeen AAC’s Zoey Clark seems certain to be selected for the Great Britain team for Poland, while Rees’s chances cannot be discounted.
The Loughborough University student competed in the 60m at last weekend’s elite-only meeting in Glasgow, clocking 7.39secs.
It was her first race for almost a year and her time was only 0.07secs outside the Scottish record she achieved last February.
However, the qualifying standard for Poland is 7.25, so Rees has a bit of work to do.
The Torphins woman was, however, encouraged by her performance at the Emirates Arena last Saturday and feels she can run much quicker this weekend when she competes in a meeting at Loughborough.
Rees said: “Last year at the Scottish championships I opened with 7.40 in my heat and went on to run 7.33 in the final.
“So, I think if I’d had a second race on Saturday I would have been faster. The people who ran at Glasgow had all competed the previous week and they were all quicker this time around.
“That’s encouraging, as it shows you do tend to get faster after you have got that first race out of your system.
“The first race of the season is always the worst one, because you don’t know where you’re at. So, for me, it’s good to get that first one out of the way.
“This weekend I’ll get two 60m runs, so hopefully I’ll be able to take advantage of that and run quicker.”