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Digital Subscriptions > Athletics Weekly > 04/08/2016 > THE RISE AND RISE OF SCOTTISH ATHLETICS

THE RISE AND RISE OF SCOTTISH ATHLETICS

THE LEGACY OF TWO MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIPS ON BRITISH SOIL WITHIN THREE YEARS CONTINUES TO REAP DIVIDENDS FOR ATHLETES NORTH OF THE BORDER, WRITES RUTH JONES

SCOTTISH ATHLETES are riding on a “groundswell of self-belief” since the London Olympics and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, aided by strong communication, new and improved support networks, and the creation of more paid positions in athletics development, creating a “sea change for the sport”.

These are just some of the reasons why — according to the body’s head of development and interim chief executive, Mark Munro, chairman Ian Beattie and the director of coaching, Rodger Harkins — Scots have claimed no fewer than 15 spots on the 2016 British Olympic team.

Those 15 athletes will form part of GB’s line-up for Rio – the highest contingent for an Olympics since 1972. It follows an historic national 21 medals won by those from north of the border at the British Olympic trials in Birmingham, Highgate and at the London Marathon.

Eilidh Doyle: one of the many Scots to have thrived off the back of competing at Glasgow 2014 along with, below, Lynsey Sharp plus Beth Potter and Steph Twell

Munro said there are myriad factors behind the athletes’ impressive improvements, particularly in middle and long-distance running, with Scottish men claiming all three marathon spots, one in the 5000m and the 1500m, while the country’s women have earned one berth each in the 800m and 1500m, three 5000m places and another in the 10,000m.

He told Athletics Weekly what he thinks those factors are:

> The Club Together development programme set up in 2011 pays part-time wages to club development officers who are ‘owned’ by clubs, and is supported by three national club managers. There are now 29 clubs with 32 paid roles, including managers, administrators and coaches. The Rio-bound trio of Derek and Callum Hawkins and Tsegai Tewelde hail from two of the leading clubs in the Club Together programme – Kilbarchan AAC and Shettleston Harriers.

> Funding from sportscotland to support clubs and their members to be their own ‘heads of development’.

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THE BIG FEATURE 16 ASHA PHILIP Why one of GB’s top sprinters is smiling again after battling back from injury to make Rio ACTION 50 CAU/EA CHAMPIONSHIPS Joel Fearon breaks through to 9.96 100m and Daniel Gardiner hits form in long jump 56 BEER MILE WORLD CLASSIC Canadian clocks 4:34 world record in London SPOTLIGHT 22 SCOTS ON THE UP A look at the remarkable recent rise of athletics north of the border 36 MARY DECKER SLANEY US legend tells Jason Henderson how she keeps fit despite chronic arthritis TALKING POINT 30 DOPING IN KENYA Adharanand Finn puts the recent allegations into perspective with his insider view NEWS 6 Charlie Grice upset at Iten doping talk 8 Callum Wilkinson savours world junior glory 10 Mo Farah announced for Great North Run 12 Rabah Yousif’s visa nightmare PERFORMANCE 42 The latest in sports science 44 Killer Sessions – Susan Tooby 46 An in-depth look at youth dropout 48 How Brits are excelling in New Mexico RESULTS & FIXTURES 60 Results round-up 77 What’s On – fixtures guide PREVIEW 75 BAL AND UKWL PREVIEW REGULARS 34 VIEW FROM THE STANDS 40 YOUNG ATHLETE 76 QUIZ CORNER 82 DIP FINISH

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