Kirsty Law of Inverness Harriers heads to Doha next month to kick start her preparations for what promises to be an exciting year of top level international competition.
The 13-time Scottish discus champion has her sights set on representing Great Britain at next summer’s world and European championships, while an appearance for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games is also on the agenda.
Law, 35, who comes from the Black Isle, but is based in Loughborough, enjoyed a fantastic season in 2021 – breaking her personal best on nine occasions.
The pick of the bunch came at the tail end of the summer when she threw 60.13m.
That’s well inside the standard of 56.65 required for 2022 Commonwealth Games selection and not too short of what’s needed for the world and European championships.
Law said: “I was in Doha in late November, early December for almost three weeks to see my coach Zane Duquemin and I hope to go back in January for four weeks.
“It was really good last month as I was able to train really hard and had my furthest throw ever.
“So I am looking forward to going back, but I just hope there’s no travel problems.
“In November I got to the airport to be told Qatar had put Britain on the red list, so I had to quarantine for two days once I got there.
“It’s not too bad if it’s only a couple of days, but if it was likely to be a week, I probably wouldn’t go. So, it all depends on the rules.”
If all goes well, Law will return from the Middle East ready to tackle a couple of competitions in February.
She said: “There’s the possibility of an indoor meeting in either Germany or Sweden, but the first outdoor event is at Loughborough at the end of the month.
“I need to do the Loughborough match to get selected for the European Winter Throws meeting at Leiria, Portugal in March.”
Law then plans to enjoy a spell of training on America’s west coast in April to complete her preparations for the main part of the summer campaign, starting with the British championships in late June.
The world championships are to be held in Oregon from July 15-24, followed by the European championships in Munich from July 28-August 8, then the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, 15-21 August
Law said: “I’d really like to do them all, but it depends on the qualifying standards. It’s 60.50 for the Europeans and I think 63.5 for the worlds, but there may also be a points qualification system.
“I want to throw over 60m again and hopefully I can get a good one early in the year.
“I already have the Commonwealth Games standard, but that doesn’t guarantee selection as there’s a limited number of places on the team.
“Some people who achieve the standard may not get selected, so I’m taking nothing for granted until it actually happens.
“But I think I’m ranked about eighth in the Commonwealth at the moment, so I’d hope that would be enough.”
Despite all her international ambitions, Law remains keen to support the Scottish championships and if at all possible she’ll attempt to add to her remarkable tally of 13 golds and one silver since joining the senior ranks in 2007.
She said: “I certainly hope to be there again to try to keep that record going.”
Simpson has to settle for runner-up at Tillicoultry
Deeside’s Robbie Simpson was beaten into second position by Cambuslang’s Ryan Thomson in the Tilli 10k at Tillicoultry.
But the Banchory-based athlete was satisfied with his performance which yielded a time almost one minute quicker than he clocked when winning over the same course three years ago.
There was little between the duo throughout the contest, but Thomson edged ahead in 29min 46secs, with Simpson finishing four secs behind.
There was a big gap to Fergus Roberts (Ochil Hill Runners), who finished third in 30:21.
Simpson said: “I’m pretty happy with that as I was looking for anything under 30mins.
“We were neck-and-neck for most of the second half of the race.
“He put in a series of surges, but I was always able to catch him again until, with about 500m to go, he opened a gap which I couldn’t quite close.
“It was a bit frustrating as there were a few sharp corners with about 150m to go, so it was impossible to make up much ground at that point.
“But, overall, it was a good race and I’m satisfied with the result.”
Scotland international Morag Millar (Central AC) was a clear winner of the women’s division of the race in a course record 34:04, cutting 51secs off the previous mark set by Fife’s Annabel Simpson in 2019.
Richardson claims honours in final parkrun of 2021
Scotland 100k international Chris Richardson brought the curtain down on a successful year by taking top spot in the final Aberdeen parkrun of 2021.
The Metro Aberdeen runner, who won the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k race when making his Scotland debut in August, completed the windswept 5k beach promenade course in 17min 3sec.
Richardson is to defend his title in the 2022 Anglo Celtic Plate 100k at Perth’s North Inch in April, when he also hopes to do enough to convince the Great Britain selectors to award him a place on the team for August’s world championships in Germany.
He said: “The ACP will be my first big target for 2022. Hopefully I’ll be selected for the Scotland team, but you’re never picked until you’re picked, so I’m not taking it for granted.
“I would love to win the ACP again, but if I got a time which gets me selected for the world championships, I’d settle for being second or third. I’d take the time over the win.”
Ian Allen (Spa Striders Running Club) finished four secs behind Richardson in the parkrun, while Martin Mueller (Metro Aberdeen) was third in 17:46.
Scotland under-20 cross country international Kirsty Purcell tied for first place with her twin sister Caitlin in the women’s division of the run, both recording 20:11. Youngster Abby Farquhar (Aberdeen AAC) was third in 21:07.
Kirsty is to represent Scotland in the Celtic Nations cross country international near Belfast next month.
Meanwhile, Scotland international Michael Ferguson led home a field of 120 runners in the Banchory Boxing Day three-mile run which was held over a slightly revised course due to damage caused by Storm Arwen.
The Aberdeen AAC runner was followed home by Carnethy’s Euan McMillan, while Cambuslang’s Michael Barker took third position ahead of Ferguson’s brother Andrew.
British 100k ultra distance trail running champion Meryl Cooper, who now lives in Banchory, led home the women’s division of the run.
Kirsty Henderson (Deeside Runners) was second, while the 2017 winner, Michael and Andrew’s sister, Mhairi Ferguson, was third.