Chris and Stacey race towards Olympic dreams
David Knox • Published 21 Jun 2012 09:30
TWEEDDALE athletes Chris O'Hare and Stacey Downie will be hoping to run the races of their lives this weekend.
The West Linton pair will both take to the track tonight (Friday) at the UK Olympic trials in Birmingham.
And both believe they are ready to show the country how good they really are.
O'Hare has made giant strides over the past two years while on an athletics scholarship in America - winning countless College titles and becoming the youngest Scot to ever go below four minutes for the mile.
But a recent hamstring pull has set him back in recent weeks, and there was further disappointment with Monday's announcement of the GB shortlist for the European Championships, where he wasn't amongst the five names for the 1500 metres.
The 21-year-old flew home last week and travelled down to Birmingham yesterday. Before leaving he told us: "My hamstring has been good since NCAAs.
"We have had a lot of help from the Scottish Institute of Sport and everything is in order for the trials.
"I am excited to race again on British soil and show everyone what I am worth. It will be a good test of where I am at on the British scene."
O'Hare will face the best of British in tonight's heats, including Andy Baddeley, James Brewer and Tom Lancashire - and hopefully again in tomorrow's final.
For 25-year-old Downie, the road to Birmingham hasn't been quite so smooth. Relentless injuries and illness over the winter led to the former national sprint champion giving up her Scottish titles.
But a recent return to form has given her hope of reaching Sunday's 200 metres final. Stacey said: "I'll compete in Friday's 100 metres as a warm up for the 200 metres. I'm running better now than I have for quite some time. I know what I'm capable of and it's down to me to show it on Sunday."
Downie missed out on a final place last year by just one-tenth of a second - and she's determined to go one better this time.
Stacey added: "It's all about what happens on the day."
Another Border athlete will also be in action with Guy Learmonth from Berwickshire going in the 800 metres heats tomorrow.
Most of the weekend's action will be screened on television.
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