EILIDH Doyle’s 30th birthday celebrations last week may have been on the low-key side, but such is the obligatory self-denial of the modern athlete that she'll be keeping everything on ice for when she returns from Serbia next week.

Doyle will surely sup a little champagne if she returns from this weekend's European Indoor Championships in Belgrade with yet another accolade to savour – or perhaps even two – from her excursion in the 400m and the 4x400m relay.

“No partying,” the Olympic medallist laughs. “We ended up having a quiet night in. We even got a little birthday cake. But I was thinking, ‘I can’t have this.’”

Despite entering the ranks of the trigenarians, she has no intention of blitzing through the local bakery just yet – not when there is plenty on offer on the track and within her reach. Nor does she intend to swap the spikes for a pair of slippers. Instead, she just wishes to continue her charge at major competitions for as long as she can continue to be in the reckoning for medals.

“I didn’t realise how much other people would ask about it,” she says. “Probably more because my coach is now semi-retired. But I’m not quite there yet. A lot more people are asking how long I’ll keep racing for. Honestly, if my body lets me, I would race for as long as I could.

“I love my life. I love being able to do this. But I don’t want to be an athlete who just keeps going. I want to train and compete well. It’s a case of taking every year as it comes. At one point, I thought I’d go up to the Gold Coast but now that’s just around the corner, I’m thinking, ‘No way. I’ve got to go longer than that.’ As soon as I finished in Rio, I felt I wanted to go to Tokyo and get another Olympics.”

And Doyle has settled into her role as Scottish athletics' elder stateswoman, nurturing the crop of talent presently coming through in abundance.

Unsurprisingly, she speaks of Laura Muir with the greatest reverence; jointly products of Kinross High and athletes who have had to endure the sour to relish the sweet.. The now double European record holder is a prohibitive favourite for at least one gold in Belgrade. Time to have her cake and eat it, Doyle says.

“It just shows you what the sport can do for you. I talked to Laura after the Commonwealths – we were sharing a room in Glasgow – and she was devastated. I told her, ‘This could be a defining moment in your career. In years to come, you won’t even think about Glasgow.’ And that’s what’s happening now – she’s been determined and gone and worked.”

British medal hopes took a minor knock when Katarina Johnson-Thompson, due to compete in the long jump, withdrew from the Championships yesterday.