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Athletics: Aberdeenshire sprinter Alisha Rees full of confidence after cutting Scottish 100m record further ahead of Commonwealth Games

Alisha Rees, right.
Alisha Rees, right.

Aberdeenshire sprinter Alisha Rees gave herself a major confidence boost on Sunday after lowering her Scottish 100m record for the second time this season.

The Torphins-born athlete, who is now based in Loughborough, ran 11.30sec to break her own Scottish record in Stratford.

It was another positive step forward for the Scot, who, although putting together a string of good performances in June, still had eyes on lowering her personal best of 11.39sec which she had set in May.

Rees explained there were elements of uncertainty heading into the weekend’s race, after a below-par session a few days prior.

She said: “On Tuesday, I did a session and I really didn’t feel good. I did some blocks and a 120m, but my hamstrings were feeling pretty fragile and I didn’t feel like I was firing on all cylinders.

“From that Tuesday session, I had a few days to get my body right and I think I just needed to keep it chilled, to be honest.

“We know I’m in 11.30sec shape, now I just need to put in some solid training before the Commonwealth Games.”

After finishing her 100m, Rees explained she found herself running in the opposite direction towards the scoreboard to see if her hopes she’d set a new best mark would be confirmed.

She explained: “When I crossed the line, I felt like it could have been good, so I quickly ran back to check the clock.

“It took a while for the time to come up (on the screen), but when I saw it I was really happy.

“I’m not really sure what I expected to run, but it’s given me a lot of confidence going into the Commonwealth Games in a few weeks.”

Indeed, it is the Commonwealth Games which are Rees’ major target for the 2022 season. With a selection berth secured for both the individual 100m and the 4x100m relay, the aim now is to replicate her good form on the world stage.

She added: “The Commonwealth Games is everything I’ve been gearing my training towards – my aim is to peak at Commonwealth Games.

“Hopefully, I can bring the form I’m in now into Birmingham and try to run a PB again – I’m just going to go there and give it my all.”

Her new best time of 11.30sec could give Rees an outside chance at representing Great Britain at the European Athletics Championships in Munich in August, but when asked about the possibility, Rees explained the focus remains very much on Birmingham next month.

She said: “If I get selected for Euros, that would be a great bonus to the season, but if not, I’m grateful for everything I’ve achieved this season.”

Aberdeen AAC runners do well down south – despite 30C temperatures

Several Aberdeen Amateur Athletics Club athletes travelled to Bedford at the weekend to contest the ever-competitive England Under-20/U23 Championships.

The competition, which regularly attracts international athletes from Ireland and Wales was played out in sweltering conditions with temperatures as high as 30C.

Lewis Watt, ranked third in Scotland over 800m for the U20 age category, comfortably qualified for the final behind Great Britain international, and eventual winner, Samuel Reardon.

The only Scot to make the final of the men’s U20 800m, Watt went on to finish fifth in a time of 1:54.04sec.

Sisters Caitlin and Kirsty Purcell were also in action in middle-distance races, going in the U20 women’s 1500m.

Although unable to progress from the heats, both put in creditable performances, with Caitlin running 4:38.72sec to come within two seconds of her personal best.

Aberdeen University student and reigning Scottish Under-20 champion Jane Davidson took on Great Britain internationals in the 100m hurdles.

Despite battling an Achilles issue over recent weeks, Davidson qualified from her heat before running 14.47sec in the final, where she finished seventh.