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As others scramble, Laura Muir aims to put down a marker . . .

When the race to qualify for the Commonwealth Games closes tomorrow evening, for Laura Muir the countdown to Glasgow truly begins.

Laura Muir  is kicking off her season  in Hengelo this weekend
Laura Muir is kicking off her season in Hengelo this weekend

While the Scottish athletics selectors are gathering to fill in the blanks in their squad, the 21-year-old will open her summer season at the Fanny Blankers-Koen meeting in Hengelo with confidence that her spring's preparations can make an immediate impression over 1500 metres.

The field in the Netherlands also includes Ethiopia's world indoor silver medallist Axumawit Embaye, as well as her British rivals Hannah England and Jemma Simpson, just the kind of quality opposition required in what will be an intense build-up to Hampden.

And with the prospect of also pursuing medals over 800m this summer at Hampden, and the European Championships also in her diary, Muir believes the regime drafted by her coach Andy Young has left her ready for the challenges ahead.

"I definitely feel a lot stronger on the endurance side," she said. "After the indoor season, we went back to winter training for three months and got a lot more endurance in. I'm just lucky that I can do both the 800 and 1500, so the training has never really been tailored to either or. Our training seems to work for both events."

Elsewhere in Hengelo, the European champion Lynsey Sharp will have a potential Commonwealth dress rehearsal in the 800m against South Africa's ex-world champion Caster Semenya and her English rival Jenny Meadows. Fast-improving Guy Learmonth will also have the chance to chase a European Championship standard in the 800m.

With the deadline for securing the standards for Glasgow less than 48 hours away. Gillian Cooke will chase a last-minute spot in today's British League meeting in Birmingham, with the ex-world bobsleigh champion, like her rival Lisa Ferguson, needing a long jump mark of 6.20m to be considered.

Elsewhere, the Scottish cross country champions Callum Hawkins and Rhona Auckland will win their first senior vests on the track for Great Britain and Northern Ireland in today's European Cup 10,000m in Skopje.

Hawkins is expected to be confirmed in Scotland's Commonwealth team next week but the Macedonian outing offers Auckland one final opportunity to break the required qualifying mark of 32:50.

Meanwhile, high jumper Emma Nuttal has had her two Scottish indoor records of 1.86m and 1.88m - either side of a 1.87m mark by Jayne Nisbet - ratified by scottishathletics.

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