LAURA Muir will officially open her outdoor athletics season at the IAAF World Challenge-Hengelo in the Netherlands today.

The 21-year-old will compete over 1500m as she continues her preparations for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Muir is yet to decide whether her key focus will be the 800m or 1500m, having excelled at both distances during the indoor season.

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"They are pretty even at the moment," she said. "I'm racing 1500m this weekend and hoping to do an 800m a week or so afterwards. I will only race five times before the Commonwealth Games. There's the British Trials at the end of June, then I'll be doing the 800m at the Diamond League at Hampden in July then one more 1500m after that."

Muir, who hails from Milnathort in Kinross-shire, was among the first athletes to be named for Team Scotland when she was selected for the 1500m last September. Fresh from warm-weather training camps in California and Spain, she said she was feeling in good shape.

"I've been really lucky and not had any problems at all," she says. "I get great support from sportscotland institute of sport and Scottish Athletics which means I can get a massage every week. If there has been even the tiniest niggle, I can phone up the physio and be in there the next day. I've been on full training for three or four months now without any disruptions."

Having passed her third-year veterinary exams at the University of Glasgow with flying colours - "I got all As so I'm chuffed," Muir said - she can now turn her full attention to preparing for the Games. That said, those first real pre-Glasgow 2014 butterflies are yet to flutter.

"I've not had too much chance to think about it all," she says. "It's strange because it's one of those things which has been coming up for so long but you never think it's going to arrive. I'm excited but I try not to dwell on it too much. I'm looking forward to getting racing first."

However, the reminders, she concedes, are becoming ever more frequent and high profile. "Around Glasgow on pretty much every lamp-post there is a poster for the Games," laughs Muir. "I saw the Big G installation in George Square when I was doing a bit of shopping the other day so I got a photo of that."

Susan Swarbrick