Torphins athlete Alisha Rees gets the first of only two chances to achieve a European Indoor Championships qualifying time when she competes at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena today.
The four-time Scottish 200m track champion, who is in her final year studying sociology at Loughborough University, is competing in the 60m at an elite-only invitation meeting.
It will be her first race since last February, when the Banchory Stonehaven AC member set a Scottish women’s indoor record of 7.32secs.
The qualifying time for next month’s Euro championships in Poland is 7.25 and, although Rees hasn’t ruled out achieving the mark, she is frustrated by the lack of opportunities to go for it.
She said: “I have this weekend’s meeting in Glasgow and another one at Loughborough next weekend and that will be it.
“UK Athletics are putting on a series of meetings later in the month to compensate for there being no British championships, but they have decided not to hold a 60m race.
“They said this is due to a lack of interest from athletes, but I don’t understand that. I thought we had until February 7 to indicate an interest, and no one has been in touch with me to ask if I’d be interested.
“I’m not sure how the team will be picked. There’s no trial race, so maybe they’ll just go with the girls who have the times.”
Olympic relay medallist and 200m world champion Dina Asher-Smith (Blackheath and Bromley) has already secured one of the three available British places on the team for Poland following her world-leading 7.08secs performance in Karlsruhe last weekend.
Fellow Olympian Asha Philip (Newham and Essex Beagles) also has the qualifying mark, having clocked 7.22, while Daryll Neita (Cambridge Harriers) is just outside the mark with 7.29.
Rees said: “It would be cool to go to the Euro indoors, but it’s not my main goal for the year. I want to concentrate on more important events in the summer.”
She believes she has an outside chance of a place in the 4x100m relay squad for the Tokyo Olympics, but is also chasing selection for the European and European under-23 championships.
But, for now, she is happy to get a race under her belt this weekend and is intrigued to discover how fast she can run.
She said: “Everything is being done by following the regulations. I have elite athlete exemption from travel restrictions and I was given a Covid test on Monday and Thursday.
“It’s really good that scottishathletics has been willing to put in all the hard work to give us a chance to compete, because they are so few opportunities.
“It will be good to get a race, but I’m a bit nervous after going a year without any competition.
“I haven’t seen any start lists yet. It could be a mixed race, which doesn’t bother me at all as it means there will be faster guys in it and it will be competitive.
“I am really looking forward to finding out where I’m at. My training has been going well.
“I’m not necessarily looking to set a personal best in my first race, but it would be good if I did.
“It would be great to break my Scottish record, but we’ll just have to see how it goes.”