EILIDH Doyle hasn’t given up on competing at next summer’s Tokyo Olympics – despite the happy news yesterday that she is putting her athletics career on hold to concentrate on the birth of her first child.

The 32-year-old from Perthshire, Scotland’s flagbearer at April’s Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast, revealed on Twitter that she and her husband and coach Brian were expecting their first child in January.

While the 400m hurdler – already Scotland’s most decorated athlete - is hanging up her spikes for the remainder of the year, it is understood she remains hopeful of what would be a remarkable return in time for what would be a third successive Olympics, even if she has to forego an individual hurdles berth to target a spot in the relay team.

A huge ask even under normal circumstances, only Liz McColgan and Lee McConnell have ever racked up a hat-trick of successive Olympic participations in terms of Scottish track and field females, but Doyle, Eilish McColgan and Lynsey Sharp could do so in Japan after previously taking part in both London and Rio.

“Hanging up my competitive spikes for the season to concentrate on the pitter patter of tiny feet,” the three-time Commonwealth silver medalist wrote on Twitter. “Baby Doyle due January 2020.

“I’m not retiring yet, I’m planning to get back,” she added.

One of Scotland’s most popular athletes, Doyle has recently returned north of the border after a stint near Bath and is giving back to the sport with a seat on the board at scottishathletics.

In addition to Scottish sporting royalty such as Sir Chris Hoy and Judy Murray, first minister Nicola Sturgeon also passed on her congratulations. “Congratulations Eilidh – lovely news,” she tweeted.

While she already has 17 major medals to her name, and remains the Scottish record holder at both the 400m hurdles and the indoor 400m, making it to a third successive Olympics just six months on from childbirth could be one of Doyle’s greatest ever achievements.

A bronze medallist in the relay from Rio, she would have to sacrifice the indoor season and focus on getting three or four months’ solid fitness work in ahead of the 2020 outdoor campaign, which culminates in Tokyo in August.

Meanwhile two other Scottish Olympic relay hopefuls, Beth Dobbin and Zoey Clark, will hope to impress the selectors this weekend when they don Great Britain and Northern Ireland vests for the European Team Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, this weekend.

The pair are among six names selected for the 4x400m team for the event, which will see GB & NI hope to beat 2017 winners Germany to the overall title.

Other Scots in the 54-strong team are Sarah Inglis, in the 5000m, and Kirsty Law in the discus, while England's Charlie Da’Vall Grice appears for the third time in the event, fresh from moving to fourth on the UK 1500m all-time list after running 3:30.62 at the Monaco Diamond League.