Just a couple of months ago, Jemma Reekie’s modest ambition for the 2018 season was to gain some experience as she transitioned from the junior ranks to the senior. But things can change fast and Reekie is progressing so quickly she goes into next weekend’s British Indoor Championships in Birmingham with the aim of qualifying for the British team for the World Indoor Championships.

The 19-year-old made a breakthrough last year when she became European Junior 1500m champion but with the transition to the senior ranks notoriously tricky, she expected her results to plateau for a period. But no one told her coach, Andy Young. For the past few years Reekie has worked with Young, becoming a training partner of Laura Muir, and one of the huge positives about being under Young’s tutelage is that good or bad, he says what he thinks.

“About two months ago, I sat down with Andy to talk about my targets this year,” Reekie said. “I thought this year would be more about gaining experience but then he said he thought I could go for the World Indoors and the European outdoors. I really didn’t expect that but he thinks I can do it so I’m going to go for it. He never says anything that he doesn’t think is possible and that’s where a lot of my confidence comes from – if Andy thinks I can do something, I’ll be able to do it. I’m feeling really excited about the British Indoors. I’ve got nothing to lose.”

The qualifying mark for the World Indoors, which are next month and also in Birmingham, is 4 minutes 11 seconds and while Reekie knows it will be a tough ask, the shape she is in gives her the belief it is achievable. Two stints in South Africa over the past few months for winter training have, she feels, taken her up a level.

The second of the two South African camps was her first invitation to join up with the GB senior squad and the experience has been hugely beneficial to the Kilbarchan AAC athlete.

“I really enjoyed South Africa, although I wish I’d been able to stay for longer now I’m back to training in the cold,” she said. “I got to work with loads of different coaches and I was mainly training with Laura

Weightman, Adelle Tracey and Sarah MacDonald but with so many athletes and coaches being there, I learned so much from everyone. It was a good eye-opener for me to watch other people train and see how they do things. But what’s good is that I’m in a really high-quality training group at home so I felt like I fitted in pretty well. I wasn’t

star-struck or anything.”

Reekie is back home doing her sessions under the watchful eye of Young and alongside Muir, who has established herself as one of the best middle-distance runners in the world. And what training alongside Muir has done for Reekie is cement in her mind that success at the highest level is down to one thing only.

“There’s no secrets to Laura’s success, it’s purely that she works so hard,” the teenager said. “Our training is really tough but I’m loving running fast so that’s what I want to do every time I go on the track. I’m enjoying

killing my body every day. I feel like if I can talk on a run, I’m not pushing myself hard enough. Laura is amazing

obviously and she’s still quite a bit ahead of me but I feel like I am closing the gap very slowly. What’s great about that is that I’m comparing myself to the best in the world. I know I need to work as hard as she does because I want to be just as fast, if not even faster, than her eventually. So I need to just keep plugging away.”

The Scottish senior track and field team is stronger than it ever has been and Reekie is just one of the next wave of athletes who are on the cusp of joining them at the top of the sport in international terms. Reekie says being part of such a successful scene is not only inspiring but, as she goes forward with high hopes of making her presence felt on the global scene, a huge confidence booster.

“Scottish Athletics is doing amazing at the moment and it’s so good to be a part of that,” she said. “Everyone looks at everyone else and thinks well, if they can do it, why can’t I? I look at someone like Laura and I know that I’m doing the same training as her so why couldn’t I get to her level if I keep working really hard.”