Aberdeenshire athlete Alisha Rees has set her sights on more top-level international success in 2020.
The Banchory Stonehaven AC sprinter, who is in her third year studying sociology at Loughborough University, is targeting a place on the Great Britain team for next summer’s European championships in Paris.
It’s a realistic aspiration for the 20-year-old former Banchory Academy pupil who sets herself extremely high standards. So much so, that she describes her 2019 season as being no better than average despite achieving a number of significant results.
Rees made her senior Great Britain debut in the European Team Championships at Bydgoszcz in Poland, where she delivered a mature performance to help her side finish second behind France in the 4x100m relay. Earlier in the campaign she was part of a Scotland international quartet that broke a 33-year-old national 4x100m relay sprint record at the Belfast international meeting.
Rees teamed up with Heather Paton, Chloe Lambert and Katy Wyper to clock 45.30 seconds, which bettered the previous national team record of 45.37 set at Lloret de Mar, Spain, in June 1986.
She was also in the Great Britain team that finished fifth in the 4x100m at the European under-23 championships in Sweden.
Rees said: “I’d describe it as an average season. I really wanted an individual spot in the European under-23 championships and I failed to do that.
“I had injuries but it was my main aim to get that individual place, so I was really disappointed it never happened. It was very frustrating.
“I’d say the highlight was the European Team Championships in Poland as it was my first senior vest. That gave me confidence as I showed I’m capable of doing well in the relay at that level. I feel like I’m now on the radar for future senior selections.
“So I’d really like to get to the 2020 European Championships in Paris at the end of August. The Olympic Games come before that, so I think the selectors might pick more of a development team for the Euros.
“I’d certainly like to go there for the relays and if everything went very well I might also have a chance of an individual spot. I haven’t decided whether to focus on the 100m or the 200m. I’m keeping an open mind on that for now.
“I would like to get my 200m time down from 23.32, which I did in 2017. I should have improved on that by now and I certainly want to get under 23 seconds. I’m also keen to reduce my 100m time from 11.45 to at least 11.30.”