Scots on track for Games warm-up

TOP athletes from around the world will battle it out at the first international sporting event of the year in Glasgow.

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Greg Rutherford will be among those competing at the event
Greg Rutherford will be among those competing at the event

Drawing some of the biggest names from the London 2012 Olympics, the sporting spectacular promises nail-biting action across more than 20 events.

And, for the first time ever, sports fans will be able to support a Scottish squad at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match on Saturday, January 25.

Led by world 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Child, the team features some of the country's best athletes, including European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura Muir and 1500m runner Chris O'Hare.

They will battle it out against teams from GB and Northern Ireland, the USA and a Commonwealth Select squad.

Among the big names gracing the Emirates Arena will be Olympic gold medal long-jumper Greg Rutherford, pole vaulter Holly Bleasdale and Paralympians Stef Reid and Libby Clegg.

In another milestone in the event's 23-year history, for the first time Para-athletes will be able to contribute to their team's overall score.

Competitors will take part in track and field events.

As the city warms up for the Commonwealth Games, many athletes will use the meet as an opportunity to hone their skills.

Eilidh Child, who bagged silver in the 400m hurdles at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010, is hoping to win gold for Team Scotland in front of the home crowd at Glasgow 2014.

The Scottish Athlete of the Year will line up in the 400m at the British Athletics match later this month.

She said: "I'm really honoured to be named captain and it'll be an immensely proud occasion for me to lead the Scottish team out at the Glasgow British Athletics International Match.

"There is some really good talent coming through, so it is great for everyone to have the opportunity to compete at the Emirates Arena before the Commonwealth Games."

Other Scottish names taking part include Scottish high-jump record holder Allan Smith, 600m runner Guy Learmouth and 400m runner Jamie Bowie.

After winning IAAF World Championship bronze in the 100m hurdles in Moscow, Tiffany Porter will head to Glasgow aiming to better her British indoor record.

Not content with her two medals last year, the 26-year-old has set her sights on medalling at three major championships in 2014 - including the Commonwealth Games.

Tiffany said: "Medalling in Moscow was definitely the highlight of 2013 for me. Given the competition in the event at the moment, I was over the moon to come away with a bronze medal and a personal best.

I'm already focused on 2014 and opening my international season with the Sainsbury's Glasgow International Match in January.

"I'm sure the home crowd will get behind the Scottish athletes before the Commonwealth Games, and I know I'll have to be at my very best to come away with maximum points."

Councillor Archie Graham, chairman of Glasgow Life and executive member for the Commonwealth Games, said: "We're delighted to be hosting the Glasgow British Athletics International Match at the Emirates Arena for the second year running.

"Once again we have a phenomenal line-up of some of the world's top athletes competing in Glasgow.

"Adding to the excitement is the fact that a Scottish team will be bidding for medals for the first time - and I'm sure they will get a roaring reception from the home crowd.

"This will be one of the last big athletics competitions in the city before the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"2014 is the year that Glasgow welcomes the world for the Commonwealth Games and this exciting international event will showcase what we all have to look forward to this summer."

Tickets start at £15, tel. 08000 55 60 56 or visit britishathletics.org.uk

matty.sutton@eveningtimes.co.uk

Sport

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