Gold Coast 2018: High jumper Nikki Manson nets late Scotland call-up

Nikki Manson
Nikki Manson will realise a dream when she competes for Scotland at the Gold Coast Games

High jumper Nikki Manson has received a late call-up for the Commonwealth Games - after missing out on automatic selection by one centimetre.

Manson had been unable to clear 1.86m twice in qualifying but has been included after fellow high jumper Emma Nuttall withdrew with a knee injury.

"I've always wanted to compete for Scotland - it's exciting," Manson said.

The 23-year-old celebrated her Gold Coast selection by clearing 1.90m, to set a new Scottish indoor record.

Manson cleared the required 1.86m height in July 2017 but struggled to hit the target a second time. Despite relocating to the United States and achieving podium places at all the major championships, she finished the season without being able to repeat the feat.

'I was walking around like I had a secret'

"I was quite ill at the end," she said. "Chasing the standard had taken its toll and I was just knackered. Mentally, I was pretty drained. I had already accepted my fate then and I was very disappointed.

"I always thought I had more potential, so I didn't want to end on that '86. I wanted to jump higher. I was willing to give it another year to see how that year went, and that was this year.

"I've always wanted to go to Australia. I've always wanted to compete for Scotland. It's obviously the only chance in a major competition that we get to compete for Scotland as a nation."

Following her late inclusion in Team Scotland, Manson attended the Scottish University Championships on Saturday - and in the process set a Scottish indoor record.

"I actually felt quite confident… there was no pressure on me," she said. "I was walking around like I had a secret and I jumped really well."

Praising Manson's performance, her coach Ken Allan said: "I have never seen her looking more relaxed, it has lifted a massive burden from her.

"This could be quite scary as to where she can go from here."

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