OF the five Scots picked for GB for this weekend’s World Indoor Championships, Jenny Selman’s selection was the one few would have predicted at the turn of the year. 

Selman’s compatriots, Neil Gourley and Guy Learmonth, have been GB internationals for some time while Erin Wallace and Adam Thomas have established themselves as two of the most exciting young talents this country has to offer. 

Selman, however, fits into neither of these categories. 

The 30-year-old has never before worn a GB vest as a senior but after over a decade of striving to reach this point, she has finally made it. 

And she made it in impressive style. 

Victory in the 800m at the British Indoor Championships three weeks ago, holding off Olympic finalist Jemma Reekie, secured her spot for this weekend’s event in Serbia’s capital of Belgrade and was a testament to her commitment and determination. 

Selman admits she felt the possibility of qualifying for this weekend’s World Indoors was so incredibly remote, she hadn’t even read the selection criteria. 

However, so impressive was her run, she hadn’t needed to, with her performance surprising even herself. 

“It’s all been pretty surreal,” Selman says of the past few weeks. 

“Before the British Champs, I knew I was going there in the shape of my life but anything can happen in a Champs, especially in the 800m indoors. 

“I knew I’d have to be at my very best to even get close to Jemma because she’s such a brilliant athlete.  

“She’s run crazy times so I knew how tough it would be so to come away with the win, as well as the World Indoors qualification time was crazy.” 

Selman has had something of a reincarnation this winter. 

Having won junior Scotland and GB vests, as well as a smattering of senior Scottish vests over the years, Selman spent much of her twenties in the athletics wilderness. 

She admits herself she spent a number of years drifting, running, by her standards anyway, “very slowly”. 

However, the Fife AC runner has been a revelation in 2022. 

A personal best at the DNA meet in Glasgow last month was an early indication of the new, improved Selman, with her British Championships victory confirmation that she is in the shape of her life. 

And while physically, Selman is better than ever, it is her mentality that has, she believes, made the most significant difference. 

“My mindset is a lot different this winter to anything I’ve felt before,” she says. 

“I’ve been feeling a lot more positive and much more ambitious going into races and that’s really helped – there was times before I was going in not expecting much from myself and when you feel like that, it’s pretty unlikely you’ll do anything. 

“I’ve never been in races of this quality before but you need to go in being prepared to hold your ground because you can get bashed around quite a bit.  

“You do need to get your elbows out and not let yourself get pushed around.  

“I expect the Worlds to be like that so it’s good to be more prepared for it.” 

With Selman’s GB teammate, Olympic medallist and current darling of the British athletics scene, Keely Hodgkinson, also running the 800m, the spotlight is likely to be on the Englishwoman.  

But, as Selman knows all too well, the 800m indoors is ripe for an upset.  

“I’m so happy and excited to be in the team and I can’t wait to be in there with some of the best girls in the world,” she says.  

“This meet is something I’ve always watched on television so to now be a part of it is pretty amazing. 

“Qualification from the heats, as it always is in the 800m, will be really tough. “There’ll be some brilliant athletes who’ll miss out on making the final and people say that often, it’s harder to make the final than it is to medal in the 800m indoors.  

“I’m going to give my best to make the final and then anything can happen - I wouldn’t have thought I’d even be at the Worlds so I have to just go for it and believe in myself.” 

The impressive few months Selman has had bodes well for the summer, which will see the Commonwealth Games take place in July. 

With only 23 spots in the Scottish athletics team for Birmingham 2022, competition will be fierce but with Selman having already bagged the qualification time, she has put herself in a strong position. 

That she must battle the likes of Reekie, Laura Muir and potentially Lynsey Sharp for an 800m spot highlights the mountain she must climb to grab a place in Team Scotland but, for now at least, she is in the best position she could possibly be in as the indoor season comes to a close. 

“Getting the time does take a bit of a weight off my shoulders but it still doesn’t guarantee anything. 

“Now I’ve got the time, I know I can run it again.  

“If I want to run a PB that’ll be another qualifying time so if I try to do that, the qualifying time will look after itself.” 

Over the next three days in Belgrade, there is certain to be a number of medal opportunities for GB, with Hodgkinson, Elliot Giles, Katarina Johnson-Thomson, Andrew Pozzi and Lorraine Ugen all likely to be in the hunt for silverware.