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No Scottish representation in UK squad for world indoor athletics championships

UK Athletics yesterday announced a 39-strong team for the World Indoor Championships to be held next month in Istanbul.

Charles Van Commenee has set no performance targets
Charles Van Commenee has set no performance targets

Steff Twell and Lee McConnell were not considered, so we should not overly focus on zero Scottish representation. Yet unavailability has often been a factor since the global event was inaugurated in 1985.

Scotland had been represented at every edition bar two, and one of these was 2006, when the world event fell immediately prior to the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne. This meant no Scots were available, and indeed, hardly any UK or Commonwealth athletes attended.

Twell, the Commonwealth 5000 metres bronze medallist, wants to build on her recovery from ankle injury, while McConnell wants to avoid one. Her long-striding style is ill-suited to indoor bends.

Performance director Charles Van Commenee is not obsessed by British performances in either.

Istanbul or Helsinki, venue for the European championships this summer. "It is useful to get information, how athletes perform, but it's not the beginning and end of all things," said the Dutchman. "That's why I'm setting no targets for these championships. I find it interesting to see how athletes will manifest themselves."

Defending world indoor champions Jessica Ennis and Dwain Chambers, plus world outdoor 5000m gold medallist Mo Farah head the squad.

The team also includes Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu, who has rarely run indoors, and European one-lap hurdles bronze medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton, yet to run this year.

Glasgow's McConnell needs to keep an eye on their progress with the Olympic relay in mind.

Medal candidates who opted not to compete include Phillips Idowu, Chris Tomlinson, and Greg Rutherford.

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