13 Dec

Team Scotland Going For Gold Coast

Scotland will send an ‘Olympic level’ team to April’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, according to Scottish Athletics’ performance director Rodger Harkins. Andrew Butchart will make his Games debut in Australia next year, with Callum Hawkins going in the marathon.

Hawkins will be looking to build on his display in the marathon at the World Championships where he finished fourth - equalling the best ever British performance in the event. He will line up alongside Robbie Simpson, a relative newcomer to the event following success as a mountain runner, including bronze at the 2015 World Championships in Wales.

Butchart, who will take his place in the endurance squad, managed top-eight finishes over 5,000m in Rio and London which will provide great confidence ahead of his debut Down Under. The rest of the squad will be made up by Jake Wightman and Chris O’Hare, while Olympians Eilish McColgan, Steph Twell and Lennie Waite form a formidable force in the women’s events.
 
In the Para-athletics events, two-time world champion Sammi Kinghorn will step up in distance from the sprints to the 1500m and marathon races.

Kinghorn broke her own world record to clinch gold over 200m at the World Para Athletics Championships in London and also won the 100m event but has decided to take on a new challenge in the Australian city.

"What we have is a team with a high percentage of final contenders," said Harkins.
 
"The overall selection policy for Team Scotland was predicated on a top six finish in each event."

Scotland's track and field athletes delivered one gold medal, two silver and one bronze on home soil at Glasgow 2014 - the best haul in 20 years.
 
"When you take in the way Scottish athletes and coaches have stepped up over the past two years - and their involvement in Rio [Olympics] and then London 2017 [World Championships] - then we see the strength and the depth," added Harkins, who is setting a target of 'four medals or more'.