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Play it cool in warm-up to avoid burnout, warns Stephen Maguire

Stephen Maguire, the director of coaching at scottishathletics, has sought to lift the pressure from Scotland's leading lights ahead of Sunday's Loughborough International, insisting that it is more important they deliver at the Commonwealth Games than in the traditional summer opener.

Director of coaching Stephen Maguire wants athletes to treat the Loughborough International as a stepping stone to Glasgow
Director of coaching Stephen Maguire wants athletes to treat the Loughborough International as a stepping stone to Glasgow

Eilidh Child will head a team that contains only a handful of guaranteed Glasgow selections, with several Games hopefuls - including sprinter Ryan Oswald and steeplechaser Stephen Lisgo - now in a desperate chase to acquire the qualifying standard.

Yet Maguire, who will move to a UK Athletics role in August, has cautioned against burnout in a summer that also includes the European Championships.

"Early season competitions are precisely that - they merely give you a signpost on how things might unfold later on," he said. "Often they show where someone might be able to get to if things go to plan.

"I do believe the policy that enabled us to name 27 athletes quite early is working. It has allowed a number of athletes and coaches to prepare in the right way - knowing they have the standards and the slots for Glasgow.

"It has given them breathing space to focus on being ready for the end of July - rather than becoming wrapped up in the June 8 cut-off date. We now have a significant number who have a window to prepare without the pressure of selection.

"People like Chris O'Hare and Eilidh Child would be in that group as well as the marathon runners named the other week. They are focused on the prime competition period of time at the Games and everything else is just a stepping stone."

England's team includes sprint prodigy Jodie Williams while high jumper Isobel Pooley will renew her rivalry with Scottish champion Jayne Nisbet.

Meanwhile Helen Clitheroe has set her sights on competing at a fifth Commonwealth Games after the 40-year-old opted against retirement.

The former European indoor champion, who has missed most of the past two years with injury, will race Sunday's Bupa Great Manchester Run as a prelude to chasing the 5000 metres qualifying mark.

"My main motivation for coming back was the Commonwealth Games," said Clitheroe, who claimed 1500m bronze in Manchester in 2002. "As it's coming closer, I realise I've set myself quite a challenge, having no qualifying times from last year."

Arizona-based Fifer Andrew Lemoncello has also confirmed his place in the Manchester 10k event.

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