Preview of our games as Jenny relishes the support and Mark points to an ‘opportunity’

Sunday July 31, 2022

Alexander Stadium photo courtesy of Birmingham 2022

Our Birmingham 2022 countdown content

Jenny Selman spoke on behalf of our entire cohort of 33 Team Scotland members for the commonwealth games when she thanked the athletics community in Scotland for their outstanding support.

Expectations are high for Birmingham 2022 with a strong squad ready to compete in athletics from Tuesday to Sunday evening.

And our #SALtogether The philosophy has been highlighted on our social networks, and even more widely, since the announcement of the selection of Team Scotland, then the final countdown of the last few days.

Head Coach Mark Pollard and Team Manager Julie Mollison lead the staff group in giving hands-on, up-close support to athletes

Supporting Mark and Julie in key roles within the team are: Alison Grey, Robert Hawkins, Pamela Robson and Allan Scott.

Further away ScottishAthletics staff have been involved in the retention camp at Grangemouth for the past 10 days or so.

And Jenny pointed out how much of an impact the feel-good factor from further afield has.

“I feel like the whole sporting community in Scotland is right behind every athlete in Team Scotland,” said the Fife AC 800m runner, who is making her Commonwealth debut.

“It’s been nice to receive so many congratulatory messages over the past two months. A lot of people are getting very excited!

“Even myself, I know a lot of people who have planned to travel to Birmingham to support Scotland.

“It’s great for us, as we complete the final preparations, to know that we have this support both in person and online on social media.”

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Mark believes the Games provide another “moment of opportunity” in the careers of athletes who have performed superbly to reach the required levels despite all the interruptions imposed by the global pandemic.

“We have a strong group of athletes who will go there with ambitions,” he said.

“There are no guarantees in elite sport – no ‘data’ if you will – but they will go out there looking to do their best for Scotland.

“We’re looking to see as many of them as possible make it to the finals and then see how they can perform in that arena.”

“There are maybe three or four out there looking to put on their best portrayal of themselves with ‘fire in their bellies’ after Eugene – if they don’t live up to their own expectations there.”

“We have a busy international athletics calendar this summer with all kinds of opportunities. The Worlds have just ended, the Commonwealths are almost upon us and the Europeans are here in August.

Jake Wightman, Laura Muir and Nicole Yeargin flew to Britain with valuable cargo after winning medals in Oregon and Mark thinks success can rub off on others.

“It was a series of fantastic performances in Oregon from a number of Scots with GB and NI.

“We had Scots who won individual medals at this level for the first time in over 30 years and others made finals and semi-finals.

“Overall it was very positive qualifying for Birmingham 2022 with the rest of the Athletics team.

“In track and field, we are always looking for athletes to try to achieve a personal best at the right time – in the final at the appointed hour and minute.

“The current crop looks capable of that and Jake is the best example of that: he ran the best of his life in Oregon to win the World Championship final.”

Photo by British Athletics/Getty Images

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Photo by Jeff Holmes

Eilish McColgan is in her third Commonwealth with Team Scotland and is expected to compete in both the 5,000m and 10,000m.

“For us in Scotland, the Commonwealth Games are important,” said Eilish.

“It’s special, it’s unique, it’s different and it’s something we all want to do.

“The standard in Scotland in distance events is getting stronger and stronger. Many of us grew up together – that’s part of what makes being part of Team Scotland a bit special.

“We’ve traveled up and down the country together, grown together and we’re still here, still running fast and the level just keeps getting better.”

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Key words:
Birmingham 2022, Commonwealth Games, Jenny Selman, Julie Mollison, Mark Pollard, Team Scotland