Black Isle athlete Kirsty Law will engage in a whistle-stop tour of Scandinavia next week as she continues her quest for Olympic selection in the discus.
The Loughborough-based Inverness Harriers club member plans to compete in track and field meetings in Sweden, Denmark and Finland over the course of a few days in a bid to find the big throw which will take her all the way to Tokyo.
Prior to this summer, Law had never breached the 58 metres barrier, but she has now achieved that on four occasions, her best being 58.82m.
That’s still short of the 62.52m required for a place on the Great Britain team. There is, however, an alternative route to Japan via the a world rankings points system based on how well athletes perform in specified competitions throughout the qualifying period.
A total of 32 places are available and Law currently lies in 47th position, but she can still pick up points and climb the table by performing consistently at international meetings.
She once again showed good form at the weekend, finishing third when representing Great Britain in the European Team Championships Super League at Chorzow, Poland.
It was her 13th competition since the beginning of April, but there was nothing unlucky about it as she performed admirably with a best throw of 58.13.
Well done @kirsylawdiscus finishing third at European Team Champs after a late GB&NI call up for the Discus – 58m 13. Superb performance. No wonder you had a huge smile for the telly viewers. @scotathletics
— Leslie Roy (@leslie_roy1) May 29, 2021
Law, who was a late call-up to the team, was satisfied with the outcome, but is still on the hunt for something better.
She said: “I was really pleased to get third place for the team as that was above expectations. I think I was only fifth ranked of the girls taking part.
“But I’m still looking for more. The conditions weren’t ideal, the wind was swirling a bit. I threw my furthest in the opening round and wanted to build on that, but it never really happened.
“But it’s my fourth throw over 58m, so at least I’m consistent. This was also a good points competition for the Olympic qualifying system. But I’m waiting to make that jump up in distance. I feel ready to throw a big one.”
Meanwhile, Law’s Inverness clubmate Sean Chalmers posted a personal best 5,000m track time of 14min 27.72secs when competing in a British Milers Club grand prix meeting at Manchester’s Sport City.
Blackburn’s Callum Davidson won in 14:09.81, while Aberdeen-based athlete Chalmers took fifth position.
Aberdeen AAC’s Michael Ferguson also showed sharp form when finishing fourth in his 800m race, recording 1:52.74. That’s his fastest time for five years and is just one second outside his best.
Naomi Lang (Aberdeen AAC) was fourth in the elite women’s 5,000m in 16:37.70.
In a 1500m heat, East Sutherland’s Alyth Gollan, competing at under-20 level for the first time, recorded 4:39.71, a PB by just over five secs.
North athletes racking up personal best performances
Rachel Maclennan (Inverness Harriers) has been going from strength to strength at under-20 level in the hammer this summer.
The Highland athlete has improved her personal best and club record on three occasions, the most recent being a throw of 47.92m in her club’s open meeting at Queen’s Park.
Another Inverness athlete showing good early season form is Andrew McFarlane, who won the pole vault in the jumps grand prix meeting at Pitreavie with a clearance of 4.20m, which is the second best by a Scot this year.
Nairn’s Will Hodi also hit top form to achieve a PB 14.08m in the triple jump, which elevates the 17-year-old to fourth spot in the national senior rankings.
At the Grangemouth throws grand prix, Alexander Mackay (Inverness Harriers) set PBs of 13.54m in the shot put and 40.42m in the discus, finishing second in both events. He followed these performances by winning the shot, with 12.18, at the Scottish combined league meeting 24 hours later.
Aberdeen AAC’s Angela McAuslan-Kelly equalled her shot put PB of 10.67m when finishing fourth in the under-17 women’s competition won by Meghan Porterfield (VP Glasgow), who equalled the Scottish age group record of 14.45m.
Meanwhile, Lachlan Buchanan (Inverness Harriers) broke the two-minute barrier for the first time when winning the under-17 men’s 800m in 1:58.37 at the national combined league meeting at Grangemouth.
There was also a victory at under-20 level for Elgin’s Kyle Wilkinson, who cleared 6.71m in the long jump.
Aberdeen AAC’s Kirsty Purcell also achieved a PB when winning the under-20 women’s 1500m in 4:38.84, while her twin sister Caitlin also dipped under her previous best when clocking 4:44.46 for third position.
Douglas leads the charge at Balerno
Great Britain mountain running international Andy Douglas (North Highland Harriers) will start as favourite to win the Red Moss Kips hill race at Balerno tomorrow evening.
The event doubles up as this year’s Scottish East District championship and has attracted a capacity field of 190 runners.
Douglas, who comes from Caithness but lives in Edinburgh, got the summer season off to a successful start when winning the Maddy Moss race at Tillicoultry earlier in the month.
He is expected to challenge the record time of 40min 46secs, set by Ewan Brown (Corstorphine AC) in 2019, for the 10.5k route which includes a climb of 350m.
Douglas’s Great Britain international team-mate Robbie Simpson (Deeside Runners) has also entered, but won’t now take part as he is nursing a niggling ankle injury.
Metro Aberdeen’s Claire Bruce, who is better known for her exploits on the road running scene with victories in the Great Aberdeen 10k, Balmoral 10k, Fraserburgh half marathon and the Ballater 10 miles to her credit, is among the entries for the women’s race.
The women’s record for the course is 48:31 by Edinburgh’s Georgia Cottle in 2016.
To comply with government guidelines, the race will be run in waves with each wave having a maximum of 30 runners.
The North Championship is to be held at the Half Nevis race near Fort William on June 27, while the Scottish senior championships are on October 9 at the Alex Brett Memorial Cioch Mhor Hill Race at Dingwall.