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Child believes she is now in control of her destiny

Eilidh Child's surprise ascent rise to the top of the European 400 metres rankings has taken diligent graft and a new assertive tactical approach from her coach Malcolm Arnold.

However, the newly crowned UK indoor champion has revealed the biggest breakthrough has not been achieved on the track but in the deepest recesses of her mind.

Child goes into today's Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham with greater self-belief than she has ever possessed after turning to a psychologist in the wake of her Olympic disappointment last summer.

It took a bit of persuasion, she admits, before she agreed to meet up with Mike Cunningham and unburden herself of her fears. This was uncharted territory. There was, she felt, little to lose.

"He actually contacted me through my website after he saw an article where I spoke about how I got overwhelmed by the Olympics," she con-firmed. "He offered to help and I get on really well with him. He's been a big help to me."

After claiming the Scottish record with one of the best runs of her career seven days ago, the results speak for themselves. "He's got me focusing on the things I can control," Child added. "That's really helped boost my confidence. I'm not worrying about who's in the race – I just do what I need to do."

It is an approach which might bring another medal at next month's European Championships in Sweden. However, her current supremacy will be tested in her final tune-up when she faces perennial foe Perri Shaks-Drayton and American Natasha Hastings this afternoon in the televised Birmingham meeting.

"It's going to be a very tough field," she said. "I might not get the chance to get out in front like I did at the UK Championships but we'll figure out the tactics. Breaking the Scottish record really boosted my confidence. You sometimes know in training you're running well but until you get out in a race, you're never sure. So it's given me a lot of self-belief."

Double Olympic champion Mo Farah makes his first appearance of the year on home soil over 3000m, Lynsey Sharp will take on the returning Jenny Meadows in the 800m while fellow 800m prospect Guy Learmonth will bid to win over the British Athletics selectors before they meet on Monday to choose their team for the European Indoor Championships.

"Hopefully, I can get in with the other guys and get dragged around to a fast time," the Borderer said. "I was caught out a bit last weekend but I have taken a lot of positives from the way things have been going."

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