Alisha Rees believes she has an outside chance of Olympic selection in 2021 – but she’ll also bid for success at European level.
The 21-year-old Torphins athlete, who is in her final year studying sociology at Loughborough University, is one of Scotland’s top sprinters.
She has won the Scottish senior women’s 200m title four times and, in 2019, the Banchory Stonehaven AC member made her senior Great Britain debut in the European Team Championships in Poland, where she helped her side finish second behind France in the 4x100m relay.
In her last full outdoor season, she topped the Scottish senior women’s 100m rankings and was second in the 200m standings.
Rees didn’t compete at all during the past summer as the Covid-19 pandemic led to the widespread cancellation of events.
She suffered from a mild dose of coronavirus in October, but fortunately bounced back quickly and feels ready to return to competitive action as soon as possible.
Rees said: “I had Covid, but it wasn’t bad. I just thought it was a cold until I lost all my taste, but it was only like that for about a week. I recovered quickly and didn’t feel any after-effects.
“I had two weeks of self-isolation, but since then my training has been going really well and I feel as though I’m in decent shape.
“I haven’t been affected by the lockdown in England as I’ve still had access to the gym and track at Loughborough because of my scholarship there.
“Looking ahead to 2021, the Olympic Games is obviously on my mind. I think I have an outside chance of a place in the 4x100m relay. There are a few spots up for grabs which could go to any of a number of runners.
“But there’s also the European championships in Munich and I reckon that’s a good opportunity for me as well, again in the relay.
“On top of that we have the European under-23 championships and I’m keen to get an individual place for that, either in the 100m or 200m.
“By the summer it will have been more than a year since I competed outdoors, so it’s hard to know how things will go and whether I’ll be better at 100m or 200m. I’ll try both and see how it goes.”
Rees was disappointed she couldn’t compete outdoors during the 2020 summer season after making an outstanding start to the year on the indoor circuit.
She ran seven 60m races during a 27-day period from late January to late February, enjoying five wins and two runner-up placings.
Rees won the Scottish 60m title and finished second in the British championships and in the British students championships.
She twice broke the Scottish record, clocking 7.33 at Glasgow then improving to 7.32 at Sheffield. The previous record of 7.35 had been set by Edinburgh’s Susan Burnside 17 years earlier.
Now Rees hopes some indoor competitions can go ahead in the new year so she can check on her progress.
She said: “I’m really keen to get some indoor 60s done if the meetings are allowed to go ahead. I want to do the British championships and the student championships.
“There’s also open meetings in Glasgow at the end of January and beginning of February, which I might do, but it all depends on what guidelines are in place at the time. I feel I could do at least as well as last winter if not better.”
The European indoor championships are scheduled to be held in Poland in March, but Rees isn’t sure if that will be on her radar.
She said: “I have them in my mind, but I’m not sure if they’ll go ahead. If they do and the chance comes along for me to get selected, then I’d definitely do it.”
First of Aberdeen AAC track and field meetings cancelled due to tightening of restrictions
The first of Aberdeen AAC’s proposed indoor track and field meetings of 2021 have been cancelled because of the Level 4 restrictions imposed on the whole of mainland Scotland.
The 60m and 60m hurdles races scheduled for January 16 and the long jump, high jump and shot put competitions on January 17 have fallen victim to the situation.
At the moment it is hoped the other meetings, all to be held at Aberdeen Sports Village, will go ahead.
These are programmed for February 6 and 7 (track) and March 13 and 14 (field).
Full details can be found at entrycentral.com