Alisha Rees has an extra opportunity to claim a place on the GB team for next month’s European Indoor Championships in Poland.
The Banchory Stonehaven AC sprinter, based at Loughborough University, tackled her first race in almost a year last weekend when she ran in an elite-only 60m at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
Rees clocked an impressive 7.39 – just 0.07 outside the Scottish record she set at the same venue last February.
It is still short of the Euro qualifying standard of 7.25 and Rees believed her only other chance to go for it would be in another invitation-only meeting at Loughborough tomorrow.
However, her hopes have been given a boost by the news that she has been offered another key 60m race at London’s Lee Valley centre on February 20.
She said: “UK Athletics first of all said there wouldn’t be a 60m at the European trials because there wasn’t enough interest shown by athletes.
“I’m not sure how they reached that conclusion,” she said.
“Anyway, they have now decided to put on a 60m and I’ve accepted my invitation to do it.
“I don’t know who is going but it should be a decent field as Rachel Miller and Ashleigh Nelson have said they’ll be doing it.”
Rees is keen to compete in the Euros, but it is not at the top of her priority list for the year.
She believes she has an outside chance of a 4x100m relay place at the Tokyo Olympic Games but the European Senior and European Under-23 Championships in the summer are her main targets.
In the meantime she will concentrate on trying to run as fast as possible over 60m, starting tomorrow at Loughborough.
She was satisfied with her performance at the Emirates Arena last Saturday and feels she can run much quicker this weekend.
‘The first race is always the worst one’
Rees said: “Last year at the Scottish championships I opened with 7.40 in my heat and went on to run 7.33 in the final. So, I think if I’d had a second race on Saturday I would have been faster.
“The people who ran at Glasgow had all competed the previous week and they were all quicker this time around.
“That’s encouraging as it shows you do tend to get faster after you’ve got that first race out of your system.
“The first race of the season is always the worst one as you don’t know where you’re at. So, for me, it’s good to get that first one out of the way.
“This weekend I’ll get two 60m runs so hopefully I’ll be able to take advantage of that and run quicker.
“And if all goes well I’ll try again in London the following weekend.”