North-east athlete Rhona Auckland has been selected to represent Great Britain in the senior women’s race at the world cross-country championships at Guiyang, China, this month.
The 21-year-old Banchory Stonehaven AC member thought her season was over as injuries have prevented her from competing since she won the European under-23 title in Bulgaria last December.
But the national team selectors have kept faith with the Torphins woman in the squad for the trip to the Far East.
Auckland picked up an injury to her left heel at the beginning of the year and that caused her to withdraw from the Great Britain senior women’s team for January’s Great Edinburgh international meeting at Holyrood Park.
The Edinburgh University medical sciences student then sustained another injury to her right leg and was unable to defend her crown in last month’s Scottish cross-country championships at Falkirk’s Callendar Park and the UK inter-counties champion-ships at Birmingham last weekend.
She has now overcome these problems and has maintained fitness through a series of punishing aqua-jogging and gym sessions.
She said: “It has been a tough couple of months because of the injuries but I’m getting there and everything is heading in the right direction.
“The problems I had were due to my foot not landing properly but I’ve now got orthotics to deal with that I’m gradually adjusting, so hopefully that will sort everything. I’m really looking forward to the trip to China.”
The only other woman selected for the team is European senior champion Gemma Steel.
Scotland will be represented in the senior men’s team by Balmoral 5km race record holder Andrew Butchart (Central AC), while Jonny Glen (Inverclyde AC) has been picked for the junior men’s side.
Burghead hammer thrower Mark Dry hopes to get his outdoor season off to a flying start when he represents Great Britain in the winter throws cup at Lieira, Portugal, this weekend.
It will be Dry’s first competitive outing since setting a Scottish championship best performance of 74.63 metres at Kilmarnock last August, only a fortnight after he claimed bronze at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, which was Scotland’s first medal in the field events for 20 years.
Loughborough-based Dry remained a little frustrated, however, that he did not challenge Chris Black’s national record of 75.40m.
He knows that if he is to qualify for this summer’s world championships in Beijing he needs to exceed that by clearing the qualifying standard of 76m.