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Scots pair Sharp and Muir produce glittering runs

With the race to qualify for the Commonwealth Games now at an end, attention can be focused on what might be accomplished when those chosen walk into Hampden in six weeks' time.

Lynsey Sharp set a new lifetime best  to finish fourth in Hengelo yesterday.Picture:  Stewart Attwood
Lynsey Sharp set a new lifetime best to finish fourth in Hengelo yesterday.Picture: Stewart Attwood

As the selectors gathered last night to finalise their squad, they will have been buoyed by performances from Lynsey Sharp and Laura Muir at the Fanny Blankers Koen meeting in the Netherlands which suggested they are accomplished enough to deliver medals in Glasgow.

Sharp finally surpassed the personal best she established two years ago in the process of claiming European Championship gold with a run of 2min 00.09sec. It left her fourth in Hengelo, narrowly missing out on breaking the two-minute barrier for the first time. Yet more lies within, surely, as the 23-year-old is now second in the Commonwealth rankings and trailing only Susan Scott on the all-time Scottish list.

It followed an equally adept performance from Muir, who was second in the 1500 metres in a lifetime best of 4:02.91 on her summer debut. The University of Glasgow student was just pipped by local favourite Sifan Hassan but her bold approach paid dividends. "It was good racing," Muir's coach Andy Young said. "And if you take that the second lap was 58 seconds, there's an even faster time in there still. But I was pleased that she went to the front and went for it to make sure she was in PB territory."

Also in Hengelo, the 20-year-old Londoner Chijindu Ujah announced his entry into the sprinting elite by claiming second in the 100m in 9.96 seconds, moving the European junior champion into third place in the all-time UK rankings behind Linford Christie and James Dasaolu.

It seems likely Team Scotland will announce a 58-strong track and field team for the Commonwealths on Thursday with none of those hoping to secure a last-minute invite having landed the requisite qualifying standards. The long jumper Allan Hamilton, who leapt 7.81 metres in Birmingham on Saturday - it was the third further ever by a Scot - was an agonising four centimetres short in Livingston yesterday. He will be joined on the sidelines by James McLachlan who was just 2cm short in his outing in the Midlands.

With Gillian Cooke and Lisa Ferguson also missing out, the sole selectorial dilemmas presented will be in the women's hammer and men's 1500m. In the former, either Myra Perkins or Kimberley Reed will be left frustrated when they receive informal notice today while Mark Mitchell seems likely to lose out to Jake Wightman in the latter event, despite having delivered his third Commonwealth ­standard in Germany.

Rhona Auckland's Hampden hopes were sunk despite coming 12th in the European Championship 10,000m in Skopje on her Great Britain senior track debut with the Edinburgh-based hopeful failing to make the Glasgow standard.

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