Scottish athletes' success down to 'huge mindset shift' - Mark Munro

By Tyrone SmithBBC Scotland Sport
Laura Muir
Laura Muir is the British record holder over 1500m

"A huge mindset shift" has been the catalyst for the recent success of Scottish athletes, says the chief executive of Scottish Athletics.

Laura Muir won her fourth European race in a row on Tuesday, recording the second fastest 800m time of 2020 at one minute 58.84 seconds in Ostrava.

Winner Jake Wightman's time in the men's event - 1:44:18 - was the the fastest by a British man since 2012.

"They expect to be in world finals or competing for medals," said Mark Munro.

"There is a huge culture shift in the sport in Scotland. Coaches and athletes don't now talk about making Commonwealth Games finals - they talk about making world and Olympic finals and medalling.

"There are 240 or so member nations of World Athletics, so it is tough, but they are in the mix and expect to win medals and that is half the battle."

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics was the most high-profile casualty of the coronavirus pandemic in the athletics calendar, with the showpiece postponed until next summer.

But events behind closed doors in Europe in recent weeks have allowed Muir and Jemma Reekie in particular to excel, with Reekie winning five out of seven races in the revised calendar.

"This is not just an overnight sensation. These athletes and coaches have put in a decade plus of really hard work to get to this point," added Munro.

"We have had some really good role models if you look at Lee McConnell, Eilidh Doyle, Lynsey Sharp - they all started to prove that Scots could deliver on the world stage.

"Since we have had Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games the athletes got a real bounce.

"We are certainly punching above our weight but we need to make sure this becomes the standard for athletics, and athletes and coaches in Scotland."

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