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North athletes earn Commonwealth Games call as Team Scotland athletics squad named

Zoey Clark strengthened her claim for World Championships
Zoey Clark.

Five north athletes have been named in the Team Scotland athletics squad for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

Aberdeen and Team GB sprinter Zoey Clark, who was this week named in the Team GB squad for the World Championships in Oregon, will head to her third Commonwealth Games and run in both the 400m and 4x400m relay.

Clark, who revamped her coaching setup last year, won double gold at the Scottish Indoor Championships earlier this year and was part of the GB relay squad at the Olympics in 2021.

Burghead hammer thrower Mark Dry completes a remarkable turnaround in his own personal fortunes by heading to a fourth Games. The two-time bronze-medalist had targeted Scotland selection after returning from a 28-month ban for misleading anti-doping officers, which had seen him fight to clear his name and saw him landed with a significant legal bill.

Team Scotland's Mark Dry celebrates his medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018
Mark Dry celebrates his medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.

“It wasn’t me hoping I would get back, I just knew I would do anything in my power to get back here,” he told the Press and Journal in May. “If I was injured and that meant I couldn’t make it this year, I would have to go for another year and do whatever it took to get back in that vest. I just knew I would get back in a vest.”

Joining him in the field events will be Kirsty Law, who hails from Munlochy on the Black Isle and will be heading to her second Commonwealth Games.

Law was the 2020 British champion in the discus and picked up a silver last weekend at this year’s event. She came eighth in the final at Glasgow 2014 but in since the start of last year has set four personal bests, while setting a long-term goal of qualifying for the Paris Olympics in 2024.

Banchory Stonehaven AC’s Alisha Rees will be at the forefront of Team Scotland’s sprints team, having set a new national 100m record earlier this year.

Rees set marks of 11.39s and 11.34s in Dagenham in May, which beat the original record of 11.40s set in 1974 by Helen Golden. In the process, she also twice eclipsed the qualifying standard for the Games set by Team Scotland.

“Being selected to represent Scotland has been my main aim this season. I cannot wait to go out there and represent in Birmingham as I think it is going to be a really special occasion,” said Rees.

Banchory Stonehaven's Alisha Rees
Banchory Stonehaven’s Alisha Rees. Supplied by Bobby Gavin/scottishathletics.

“I have come full circle. Ever since I went to the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in 2015, it’s meant there has been a big build-up for me to the Commonwealth Games and I am really happy I have managed to achieve selection. I’m really looking forward to getting out there and showing everyone what I’ve got.”

Rees will be entering the 100m and 4x100m relay, where she will be joined by Keith runner Rebecca Matheson.

The Aberdeen AAC sprinter took bronze at the Scottish Indoors in January and trains with Clark. Matheson and Rees were part of the team which set a new national record for the 4x100m in May at a Diamond League meeting.

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