Neil Gourley is just one of the top names expected to compete in Grangemouth for Scottish honours.
Athletics World Cup 1500m bronze medallist Neil Gourley will look to put Berlin selection disappointment behind him as he joins fellow Scots at the FPSG Scottish Senior Championships this weekend.
Gourley is among 409 athletes – a 22 percent rise in entries – for the seniors event in Scotland and the Giffnock North AC athlete looks the strong favourite for the 1500m. He is also entered for the 800m but is unlikely to double up in events.
Mhairi Hendry, Mhairi MacLennan and Sol Sweeney are also expected to compete over the two days, while Kirsten McAslan will fly in directly from the European Championships in Berlin.
Also set to compete are Chris Bennett, Grant Plenderleith, Rachel Hunter, Alisha Rees, Heather Paton, Jax Thoirs, Holly McArthur and Michael Olsen.
Scottish athletes who are currently at the European Championships include past supporters of the national championships Jake Wightman, Beth Dobbin, Jemma Reekie, Nikki Manson, David Smith and Allan Smith.
A £2000 prize pot for certain standards has tempted a handful of Scotland’s best athletes with 3.41 required in the 1500m.
“I’ve never won a Scottish senior title before so I am looking to try and correct that,” said Gourley. “I’m not sure I will be looking to do an 800m-1500m double at this stage of the season and with the Birmingham Diamond League coming up afterwards. But I am looking forward to racing again in Scotland.”
As well as the seniors, under-17 athletes will also be in action bringing the total number of athletes to 723. The full break down of entries are: 156 senior women, 253 senior men (total: 409) and 166 U17 women and 148 U17 men (total: 314).
“We are delighted that we have seen a fantastic 22 percent increase in entries this year for the Seniors – with over 400 athletes listed,” said scottishathletics chief executive, Mark Munro.
“That demonstrates great commitment by the athletes, coaches and clubs to support the event and I do feel that figure, as the best for many years, serves as a true barometer of a feelgood factor at the moment.”
Speaking about the £2000 prize pot on offer he added: “In order to stimulate interest, this year we decided to put up a £2000 prize pot for athletes if they can deliver on certain performance standards.
“The prize will be shared amongst those achieving standards – if it’s only one athlete then they take the full pot. If nobody wins, it will double for 2019!
“Regardless of how that unfolds, we appreciate the efforts of our best athletes to be in Grangemouth – with two or three others who competed last year at the seniors now having full commitments in Berlin!
“However, it is not all about the top end athletes and we are looking forward to witnessing some close battles all weekend. Bigger numbers in the seniors brings greater depth in many events.”