The thing with a golden generation is how on earth do you follow it up?

For years, the question in and around British tennis was “who’s the next Andy Murray?”, with the passage of time revealing that, in fact, there is no “next Andy Murray”.

Unsurprisingly, taking over from one of the greatest sportspeople Britain has ever produced is more than a mere formality.

The same dilemma applies to this current crop of Scottish track and field athletes, or specifically, track athletes.

To describe this group of Scottish runners as a golden generation is an obvious statement.

In the shape of Josh Kerr, Laura Muir, Jake Wightman, Eilish McColgan et al, it’s become entirely de rigueur to see Scottish athletes win medals at major athletics' championships.

Indeed, prior to last week’s European Championships, Scottish athletes had won at least one medal at 16 of the last 18 major championships.

This is, by anyone’s estimation, a remarkable statistic, with the bulk of the heavy lifting in terms of picking up silverware being done by Muir, who’s collected 13 major championships medals in the past seven years.

Laura Muir has won 13 major championship medals in the past seven yearsLaura Muir has won 13 major championship medals in the past seven years

So, whilst revelling in this extraordinary success, it has been difficult not to wonder where the sport goes after this current group hang up their spikes.

Of the athletes who are at the forefront of this golden generation, Kerr, who will be 27 this year, is the youngest and so it stands to reason to ponder what the landscape will look like after this crop retire.

We will, it’s almost certain, never have another contingent of this size all of whom, simultaneously, can compete – and beat – the world’s best. That, I’m afraid, would be too much to ask even of a sport which has an impressively efficient development pathway.

But over the past week, we got confirmation that the sport is, indeed, in safe hands.

Megan Keith has, to those inside the athletics bubble, long been identified as an individual with considerable potential.

However, her predilection for cross-country running and her almost visceral dislike of the more media-friendly track running looked like it may hamper the recognition she would garner over her career.

But, after tentatively stepping onto the track in anger just a few of seasons ago – prior to that, all forays onto the track were merely treated as training exercises – Keith has shown that she has the makings of Scotland’s next athletics star. Or, potentially, superstar.

The 22-year-old’s reputation was enhanced yet further earlier this week when she claimed her first-ever major senior track championship medal by winning 10,000m bronze at the European Championships in Rome.

This silverware was just reward for a run of form this year that has also seen the Inverness native set a new European under-23 10,000m record on the road, becoming Scotland’s third fastest-ever 10km runner (only Eilish and Liz McColgan have ever run faster) before beginning her campaign on the track and, over two 10,000m outings this season, firstly securing the Olympic qualification standard before winning the British Olympic Trails to secure her selection for Paris 2024.

To describe Keith as a phenomenon is, if anything, an understatement. 

Megan Keith first made her name as a cross-country runner (Pic - Bobby Gavin)Megan Keith first made her name as a cross-country runner (Pic - Bobby Gavin) (Image: Other)

Her performances, for someone who still has very little experience on the track, have been astonishing and for her to already be picking up major championship medals, despite admitting she is a novice when it comes to the tactics of a 10,000m race, is remarkable.

As things stand, Keith’s tactic is, more often than not, go out hard and keep going as hard as possible.

It’s served her well to this point so who am I to criticise but once she adds some tactical nous to her clear talent and unflinching work-ethic, she’s likely to elevate herself to another level.

The women’s 10,000m is notoriously hard for Europeans to succeed globally given the domination of the African athletes but Keith surely has as good a shot as any when it comes to making an impact.

It remains to be seen just how high Keith’s star will rise but as things stand, she seems the perfect individual to shoulder the responsibility of taking over from Scotland’s golden generation.



The Olympics Games always bring spectacles rarely seen in the intervening four years.

There’s a lot of marquee moments but try and convince me there’s any that are more marquee than the newly-announced doubles partnership of Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz.

The Spanish Tennis Federation this week confirmed its first picks for the Paris Games and every tennis fan’s wish came true when it was confirmed that Nadal and Alcaraz will play doubles together.

Rafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz (pictured) will play doubles together at the Paris Olympics this summerRafa Nadal and Carlos Alcaraz (pictured) will play doubles together at the Paris Olympics this summer

It’s literally the fusion of two generations of tennis superstars – and is likely the only time we’ll see this partnership happen.

One of the greatest players ever to pick up a tennis racquet, Nadal, at the age of 38, does not have many, if any, seasons left in him while his 21-year-old compatriot, Alcaraz, has been anointed the “next superstar” of the sport following the impending departure of all of the Big Three of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer.

Nadal is a veteran of the Olympic Games having already won singles gold (in 2008) and doubles gold (in 2016 alongside Marc López) while Alcaraz will be making his Olympic debut this summer.

On paper, they’re a good bet to win gold together but, of course, sport is never as straightforward as that.

The pair will play no warm-up tournaments so their preparation will be limited but irrespective of their build-up, make no mistake that they will be desperate to get onto the podium in Paris.

Time will tell if this most box-office of partnerships fulfills their indisputable potential but whatever their final result, there’s few tickets going to be more in demand than those for every Nadal-Alcaraz outing.