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Laura Muir knows that she has to conserve every ounce of energy if she is to complete her set of major international medals and break her Commonwealth duck.
The 29-year-old from Kinross is attempting an audacious double at Birmingham 2022, competing in the 800m and 1500m.
Having already secured her place in Saturday’s 800m final where she will take on England’s Olympic and world silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson, Muir backed that up by clinching a spot in the final of her preferred event on Sunday.
The top five from each heat went through, with Muir doing what she needed and no more as she came home in fifth.
She explained: “I went to the front at the start to slow it down a wee bit and got away with it for a while but then I knew they were going to come round at one point. When they came, I thought latch on, look at five and do as minimal as possible. I’ve done that and saved the legs for tomorrow.
“This is the last one (medal to win) so if I can get not just one but two, that would be very, very special. So I’m trying to go out with a big one.
“It was nice to qualify as comfortably as I could, save as much energy as possible for the final with Saturday and Sunday.
“It’s going to be hard, Commonwealths in the distance events is really, really strong but it’s an amazing opportunity and I want to give it my best. I’d hate to be at home watching and thinking I could have been part of this so I’m really excited.”
This summer, Team Scotland, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, compromises of over 250 athletes, all vying for medal success.
Muir will be joined in the final by Jemma Reekie, who put the disappointment of her failure to reach the 800m final behind her.
It was not easy for Reekie, who trains with Muir, qualifying as one of the fastest losers, but she will now compete in her first Commonwealth final on Sunday having got over the disappointment of the 800m.
She said: “I’m not making things easy for myself but I knew that hopefully I’d get through as a fastest loser.
“I feel like I’m representing Scotland at my first Commonwealths and I didn’t do it justice at all (in the 800m).
“It was hard for me but when I heard I could get another shot at it, even though it wasn’t the 800 that I wanted to do, it made me happy that I could come out and represent Scotland again.”
Perhaps the race of the Games will come on Saturday in the men’s 1500m where newly-crowned world champion Jake Wightman will face competition from compatriots Josh Kerr and Neil Gourley, not to mention Tokyo silver medallist Timothy Cheruiyot of Kenya.
And while Wightman knows that he has an almost unprecedented opportunity to win world and Commonwealth titles in the same year, he is taking a pragmatic approach.
He said: “Josh (Kerr) not medalling at Worlds, loads of people have their own agendas as to why they want to be even better at Commies than they were at Worlds, so it’s not going to be easy at all.
“I’ve just come to terms with the fact whatever happens, happens, I’m going to give it a go to win it obviously, and I can win it if it goes well. But for whatever reason if other people race better on the day, if I don’t run as well as I want to, it’ll be disappointing, but I’ve still had a good season up until this point. I’d definitely like to add the Commonwealth title to my 2022 summer.”
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