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Bowie off on Florida trip but heart is in Highlands

Jamie Bowie, the world indoor relay silver medallist, insists success will not go to his head.

James Bowie believes his Polish coach will help him improve his personal best this summer
James Bowie believes his Polish coach will help him improve his personal best this summer

The 24-year-old Scot says he will stay loyal to his boyhood club rather than accept a lucrative switch down south.

Bowie, who has flown to the United States for a warm-weather training camp, has become a hot commodity after he justified his inclusion in the Great Britain & Northern Ireland 400x400m team for the World Indoor Championships in Poland.

He has had offers from a number of leading English clubs but will remain with Inverness Harriers, saying he would rather miss out on the money on offer than let down the next generation of athletes who have been cheering on his rise to prominence over the past 12 months.

"Normally the bigger clubs cover all your expenses, so that can mean not having to pay your way to competitions," Bowie said. "I went with Glasgow City to a few events last year which was great but I still have Inverness as my main club, and that's something I like because I want to make sure I'm able to be a role model up there.

"Mine was Lesley Clarkson, who I watched and admired. When you can see those people on TV, and then watch them train, it allows you to see you can make that same step up with the same coaches."

Bowie, who normally trains at Pitreavie, believes his stay in Florida can help him prepare to chase the 400m qualifying time for the Commonwealth Games, with the possibility of two early races across the Atlantic to kickstart his bid.

The Highlander believes the presence of his coach Piotr Haczek, who recently relocated to Scotland after three years in his native Poland, can help guide him to a personal best this summer.

"He makes a huge difference," Bowie said. "I did have that worry about how I could step up this year and how much more I could do. You have those added pressures and expectations when you've been to a global championships and get only Lottery funding. It's been reassuring for me having Piotr there and being able to develop the things I need to progress."

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