Lynsey Sharp wants to fly the flag for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games in Australia – as she plots a path towards competing in three major events in 2018.
And one of the Glasgow 2014 silver medallist’s primary motivations for Gold Coast will be try to add to the Sharp family medal haul in the Commonwealths.
Six medals from three competitors is the current story with Lynsey’s Hampden silver in the 800m added to five medals won by sprinter dad Cameron over three Games. Lynsey’s mother, then Carol Lightfoot, also competed for Scotland at the Commonwealths in Brisbane in 1982.
With the track and field competition Down Under due to start a year from today – on April 8, 2018 – the Scottish 800m Record holder feels competing in the World Indoors, Gold Coast 2018 and the European Championships in the same year is feasible.
“I’m very much committed to competing for Scotland at Gold Coast 2018,” Lynsey told scottishathletics.org.uk on a short trip home before then returning to the United States for training.
“You don’t get all that many chances in your career to compete for Scotland in athletics - and having grown up with my dad winning five Commonwealth medals and my mum also having run for Scotland at the Commonwealths, then it is important to me. Put it another way: the Commonwealth Games are important to the Sharp family.
“It is nice to be in a Scotland team every so often, rather than part of a GB and NI one, and be with all these Scots who have been performing so well. Australia is quite attractive an idea, too!
“I don’t see huge issues over the timing (next April). I don”t see Europeans (later in the summer of 2018) as any more important than the Commonwealths; it worked really well in 2014 when they were very close together and we went straight from Glasgow to Zurich. But I think it can work in 2018, too, with a bit of a gap.
“I see it as a slightly later indoor season, hopefully including the World Indoors in Birmingham, and then getting down to Australia from there to prepare for Gold Coast. Then, after that, there”s plenty of time to have a short break and then starting building again for Europeans. My coach, Terrence Mahon, is happy with that as a plan.”
Sharp was in Edinburgh earlier this week when Team Scotland’s “Year To Go” media activity stirred memories of Glasgow as well as thoughts of what is to come next year.
“Glasgow is starting to feel like a while ago and, before we know it, we will be right into the preparations for Gold Coast after the World Champs,” she said.
“The 2014 season was the most fun I”ve ever had – with Hampden and then the Europeans in Zurich pretty close together. So I am really looking forward to having that again in 2018.
“Hampden will always mean so much to me and hold a lot of memories. There”s been a lot of talk recently about how poor it is as a football stadium but as an athletics stadium it was brilliant!
“I even ended up in a BBC Scotland documentary after everything that happened at the Games that week. I felt 2015 wasn”t so good after that but I bounced back last year and ran faster. I nailed it, too, in Rio because the goal there was absolutely to make the final after missing out in the Worlds in 2015.”