2017 World Championships: 'Mentality change has boosted Scottish athletics'

Lynsey Sharp
Lynsey Sharp will be one of 13 Scots competing at the World Championships in London

The chair of Scottish Athletics believes a change in mentality has helped a record number of Scots make Team GB for the World Championships.

Ian Beattie says credit must go to the athletes, coaches and clubs after 13 Scots were named in the team for next month's championships in London.

He says everyone in the sport pulling in the same direction has helped Scottish athletics scale new heights.

"I am absolutely delighted at the total," Beattie told BBC Scotland.

"We knew after the British trial a couple of weekends ago that we had 11 people that had qualified at that stage. That was a real high. There has been another three added since then. Unfortunately one dropped out, Robbie Simpson with injury. But 13 is a fantastic number.

Scotland will be represented at the World Championships by 13 athletes
Scotland will be represented at the World Championships by 13 athletes

"The record we have had before for the World Championship was seven, so that shows how much of an improvement there has been.

"Credit has to go to the athletes and their coaches. It's a lot of work to make world teams so the athletes we are seeing at the moment are pushing each other on, working incredibly hard going around the world and getting great times and distances and so on.

"But credit has to go to the clubs as well. We have tried to focus on improving our clubs and improving the quality of what is coming through, and they have really risen to that challenge."

Athletes like Eilidh Doyle and Laura Muir will go into the World Championships with genuine medal hopes and Beattie says a culture of high expectation is driving Scottish athletes on.

"We are now seeing a culture of clubs expecting to perform and see athletes come through their systems and getting to the level of the people selected today," he explained.

AthleteEvent
Beth Potter10,000m
Laura Muir1500m, 5,000m
Jake Wightman1500m
Lynsey Sharp800m
Callum HawkinsMarathon
Andrew Butchart5,000m
Eilidh Doyle400m hurdles, 4x400m
Zoey Clark400m, 4x400m
Chris O'Hare1500m
Steph Twell5,000m
Josh Kerr1500m
Eilish McColgan5,000m
Guy Learmonth800m

"I think there has been a real change in the mentality of the Scottish athletes coming through. I think they are now expecting to compete at this level.

"They have had a taste of it. A few of our athletes were at the London Olympics, quite a few were at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games and they believe they should be at this level.

"What's more, some of them are now believing they are capable of winning medals at this level. It has just been a really positive mentality.

"When I took on the chair role I was keen to have a sport where everybody was working together and pointing in the same direction and I think we can really feel that going through Scottish athletics. There is a real feel-good factor at the moment."

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