Athletics: Torphins’ Rees will block out pain in bid to retain Scottish 200m title

Alisha Rees
Alisha Rees

Alisha Rees is poised to become one of the most successful young athletes in the long history of the Scottish women’s track and field championships.

The Torphins sprinter, who celebrated her 19th birthday in April, will compete in the senior women’s 200m at Grangemouth this weekend, bidding to win the title for the fourth year in a row.

That has not previously been achieved by anyone so young and there’s little doubt the Banchory Stonehaven AC member is more than capable of claiming that record.

Rees goes into the race as clear favourite, despite having been hampered over the last few months by a niggling injury that has prevented her from firing on all cylinders.

She said:”I’ve had an ongoing injury since May, with a tendon at the back of my knee, and I had other problems during the winter and I basically missed out from October until January.

“I think I’ve only had two pain-free weeks throughout the year so I guess I’ve done well under the circumstances. It would be interesting to see how I might have performed if I’d had a clear spell of uninterrupted training.”

Rees currently tops the UK under-20 age group rankings with a best time of 23.44secs set at an international meeting in Germany in June.

Then, in July, she was part of the Great Britain quartet which picked up bronze medals in the 4x100m relay at the world junior championships in Finland.

The Loughborough University student was, however, slightly disappointed to miss out on a place in the final of the individual 200m at the world event.

She said: “Getting a medal at the world championships was really good but in the individual 200m I might have been better. I was fine in my heat but not so good in the semi-final and I ended up missing qualification by a narrow margin.

“The injury has flared up a few times since then, which is annoying, but I’m keen to try to keep my Scottish title so I’ll be there. I’m just going to try for the win and not be bothered about the time I get.”

Rees will end her season after this weekend’s championships in order to find a solution to her injury problem. She said: “I’ll go back to Loughborough and start a full rehab programme to, I hope, finally clear it then hopefully I’ll get a full winter’s training done to set me up for 2019.”