Olympic trials 2016: Scots to watch at British Championships

By Bryn PalmerBBC Scotland Sport
Lynsey Sharp competes in an 800m race in Lucerne
Lynsey Sharp has been in consistent form as she attempts to seal an 800m spot
British Championships
Date: 24-26 June Venue: Alexander Stadium, Birmingham
Coverage: Watch on BBC Red Button and BBC Sport website on Saturday (14:00-16:00 BST), and on BBC Two and BBC Sport website on Sunday (13:00-17:00 BST)

Four Scots have already qualified for Great Britain's athletics team for this summer's Olympics and hopes are high that that number could rise to as many as 12 after this weekend's trials in Birmingham.

That would be a substantial increase on the five at London 2012, following four in Beijing (2008), five in Athens (2004) and three in Sydney (2000).

Beth Potter has already qualified for the 10,000m in Rio, while Callum Hawkins, Tsegai Tewelde and Derek Hawkins have been selected in the men's marathon.

A top-two finish at the Alexander Stadium will be sufficient for all those who already have the necessary Olympic qualifying time.

BBC athletics commentator Steve Cram, the former world 1500m champion and Olympic silver medallist, and triple Scottish Olympian Lee McConnell discuss the prospects for five other Scots hoping to make it.

Eilidh Doyle (400m hurdles) - Heats 12:05 Sat; Final 13:46 Sun

The 29-year-old from Perth won the opening Diamond League race in Doha in early May and followed that with a third place in Rome and two second-placed finishes in Birmingham (in a photo finish) and Lucerne.

GB's Doyle given second place in photo-finish

Only six hurdlers worldwide have run faster than the two-time Commonwealth Games silver medallist this year.external-link

McConnell: "Eilidh is a fantastic athlete. She went into the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow two years ago as a poster girl knowing everyone in Scotland was expecting her to get a medal and she delivered a silver. She showed she can cope with that pressure.

"Now she has got herself in a really good place. She got married to Brian last year, he has moved down to Bath and is her constant support, with her side by side.

"She used to go into races and sometimes deliver, sometimes not. But last year she was pretty consistent and this year she has been really consistent again.

"She is confident she can go up against anyone in the world and be as good as them; that is a big thing."

Cram: "Eilidh has come first and second in two big events recently and she is moving into the medal zone in the 400m hurdles."

Lynsey Sharp (800m) - Heats 17:34 Sat; Final 16:33 Sun

The 25-year-old from Edinburgh set a new Scottish indoor record earlier this year and the Commonwealth silver medallist has maintained her form outdoors.

She has ran under two minutes three times in finishing third in Rome, fifth in Rabat and fourth in Birmingham - and won a slower race in Lucerne last week.

McConnell: "Lynsey has some really tough competitors [South African Caster Semenya and Burundian Francine Niyonsaba among them] in her event.

"It is going to be really tough to win a medal in Rio, but she is a fantastic competitor."

Laura Muir (1500m) - Heats 16:34 Sat; Final 15:27 Sun

The defending British champion is already confident of being able to challenge for a medal in Rio, once the matter of sealing her place on the plane is confirmed.

'Muir has more potential than any Scot'

She opened her season with a victory in France, set a new Scottish record in finishing second in Oslo's Golden Mile a fortnight ago and finished fifth in a tough race in Stockholm last week.

Cram: "Laura is in the middle of a really interesting development part of her career. She is turning into a real world-class athlete.

Eilish McColgan (5,000m) - Final 15:38 Sun

Having switched from the 3,000m steeplechase following a string of ankle problems and surgery, the 25-year-old from Dundee set a 5,000m personal best (15:09.94) in her first race for 22 months in California last month.

She has also set a 3,000m best as her return to the track continues apace and is around 10 seconds off her mother, and coach, Liz's best effort over 5,000m (14:59.56).

Her main rivals will be fellow Scots Steph Twell - the 26 year-old who leads the UK rankings - and Laura Whittle, 30, who like Twell wants to make up for missing London 2012 through injury.

McConnell: "To think 'what else can I do?' when your body is not allowing you to do something and come out and change to the 5,000m takes a lot of guts.

"But Eilish has had quite a few good races now in the build-up to the trials. She is a really strong competitor. I hope she does well because she has had a tough time."

Andrew Butchart (5,000m) - Final 15:10 Sat

The 24-year-old from Dunblane is full of confidence after smashing two long-standing Scottish records already this season.

Andrew Butchart
Butchart beat Andy Vernon, one of his rivals for a 5,000m place in Rio, in winning the Vitality London 10K race

He broke Nat Muir's 36-year-old 5,000m record in Holland - despite running the last lap with only one shoe - and followed that with another when finishing second to Mo Farah in the 3,000m in Birmingham.

He also set a new 10,000m personal best in winning the Vitality London race in late May.

Cram: "He has had an incredible summer already. He broke my old mate Nat Muir's record and looked good when he came in behind Mo Farah in Birmingham, so he is in great shape.

"I think he will be definitely be selected."

Other Scots at the trials


Lennie Waite (3,000m steeplechase) - Final 14:46 Sun


Chris O'Hare (1500m) - Heats 17;04 Sat; Final 15:05 Sun

Jake Wightman - (1500m) - Heats 17;04 Sat; Final 15:05 Sun

Allan Smith (high jump) - Final 14:03 Sun

David Smith (high jump) - Final 14:03 Sun

Jax Thoirs (men's pole vault) - Final 12:35 Sun

Mark Dry (men's hammer) - Final 15:14 Sun

Chris Bennett (men's hammer) - Final 15:14 Sun

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