Scots get on their marks to compete for cheers

TODAY marks six months to go until the Commonwealth Games kicks off in Glasgow.

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Today marks six months until the opening of the Commonwealth Games
Today marks six months until the opening of the Commonwealth Games

Across the city, prepar-ations are under way to welcome thousands of athletes, coaches, officials and fans from all over the world.

And this weekend, sports buffs will get a taster of what's to come this summer at the Sainsbury's Glasgow International Match at the Emirates Arena.

A total of 44 global medallists - including stars such as 2003 100m world champion Kim Collins and Scots Para-lympians Stef Reid and Libby Clegg - will compete across more than 20 events.

As we reported earlier this week, world 400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child will head up the annual event's first Scotland squad as they don the Saltire ahead of Glasgow 2014.

The team will face top runners from the USA, Britain, Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth Select at the event to be broadcast live on BBC 1 from 1.45pm on Saturday.

Two sporting stars with their eyes firmly focused on the Commonwealth Games are Claire Gibson and Laura Muir.

They will go head to head in the 800m on Saturday - a competition they hope will offer a flavour of the response expected from fans in the summer.

European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura, 20, has already bagged a spot on Team Scotland for Glasgow 2014, to run the 1500m, so will be using the weekend's event at the Emirates Arena as a practice run. It will be the first time the Glasgow University veterinary student has worn a Scottish vest.

She said: "The Glasgow International Match is going to be a great practice run for Hampden because it will give me experience of what a Scottish crowd is going to be like and what to expect."

Laura will be up against veteran track star Claire, 31, who competed in Delhi in 2010 but is yet to meet the qualifying time for the home Games.

Having achieved fifth place in the Scottish National Open at the Emirates this month, she is heading to Australia after the weekend to chase the time she needs to secure a spot on the start line at Hampden.

At the weekend, the Renfrewshire athlete who will have her parents and members of her running club Kilbarchan in the crowd, is lining up for the Commonwealth Select team. And she knows the Scottish fans will get behind her.

She said, although she would not be wearing the Scotland vest she still felt part of that team.

Claire added: "There will be a few familiar faces in the crowd so I'm hoping they will recognise that there are two Scots in the team.

"It doesn't matter who the crowd are cheering for, you feed off the atmosphere.

"Much as I would love to be in that Scotland vest, I am just happy to be on the start line and getting a chance."


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