Eilish McColgan’s plans to make her long-awaited half-marathon debut have been thwarted again after her race became another statistic in the list of Covid cancellations.

The European Championship medallist, 30, was due to have a first crack over 13.1 miles at next week’s Ras Al-Khaimah Half in the United Arab Emirates with a duel against Kenya’s reigning world 5000m champion Hellen Obiri.

It was a Plan B for the Dundonian who had originally planned to step up in distance at last autumn’s Great North Run before the Tokyo Olympics were postponed.

But McColgan, who will target a 5000-10000m double if the Games go ahead this summer, has now been left high and dry with three months of training down the drain.

“We have been here preparing since November for this one race,” she said. “I had this hope it would go ahead because races were going ahead here and things were open – bars, restaurants, you name it. Life was pretty normal. But unfortunately it had to be cancelled.

“We also just spent £400 to extend our visas to stay in the UAE just for the race and it’s cancelled so I’m trying to forget about that.”

Meanwhile one of the highlights of the Scottish calendar has also fallen victim to Covid restrictions with next month’s national cross-country championships now off.

Originally to be hosted in Falkirk, an alternative plan to hold the showpiece at Scone Palace in Perth over two days proved impossible, Scottish Athletics admitted.

A statement said: “Unfortunately, working closely with the Road Running and Cross Country Commission, we have had to accept that extended lockdown restrictions from the Scottish Government to help the fight against Covid-19 mean that will no longer be possible.”