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Child aims to use Caribbean jaunt to relay her intentions

There are worse places to while away a May weekend than the Bahamas, Eilidh Child admits.

Judging by the responses to beach photos posted on social media yesterday, envy is in the air.

The Caribbean is the venue for the IAAF's newest creation, the world relay championships, and while significant prizes - both in ­stature and hard cash - are at stake this weekend, there is a sense that the competitors have been lured as much by the destination as their competitive urge.

Child, expected to lead Great ­Britain and Northern Ireland's 4x400 metres bid, admits to mixed feelings. "It's a big event but it feels strange," the Scot admits. Yet there is a title at stake, as well as an opportunity for her squad - which also includes the world champion Christine Ohuruogu - to have a dress rehearsal for the European Championships in August.

"It's good to show what you can do," she adds. "The more experience we can get together as a team will help. I?¯like doing the first leg and I?¯want to stamp my authority on it so I?¯can do it again at the Europeans."

Both the British men's and women's 4x100m squads will have medal hopes while the male 4x400m line-up, which features Jamie Bowie, will aim to match the silver claimed in March's world indoor championships. Child would be disappointed to return empty-handed. "We are the current world bronze medallists, indoors and outdoors, so hopefully we can do something."

Lynsey Sharp admits the event held serious allure but, with UK Athletics having chosen not to enter the longer-distance relays, the Scot will focus instead on her individual goals. Top of mind is securing an 800m berth at the Commonwealth Games and the European champion will bid to nail down her place in Scotland's team in today's Flanders Cup in Belgium.

In Watford last weekend, she was a second adrift of the qualifying standard of 2:02.80 but these are still early days in her rehabilitation following a 15-month spell in which injuries and illness have pestered her at every turn. Patience, she underlines, is all-important even when there are a posse of rivals, including her Edinburgh AC team-mate Emily Dudgeon, emerging into the fray.

"I'm confident that by the end of July, I'll be in really good shape," Sharp said. "It's unfortunate the time has to be done so far in advance. But it's good to see people stepping up.

"It's good to see Emily coming through because I've known her since we were at school. She was at St George's, our rivals [Sharp attended Mary Erskine's]. She's had a couple of tough years but it's nice that's now doing well."

Dudgeon will be one of several Scotland internationalists in action in Portugal for Edinburgh AC at the European Club Championships.

n David Toniok starts as favourite in tomorrow's Edinburgh Marathon with Risper Kimaiyo defending the women's title. Neil Kilgour, the race director, reckons the Kenyan pair, who have missed out on Glasgow 2014 selection, will go full tilt to make their mark. "The athletes coming have something to prove and it's going to make our elite field very competitive," he said. "The women's race is seriously rapid."

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