Learmonth set for the Commonwealth call

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Berwick athlete Guy Learmonth looks as if he could be on his way to the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Learmonth, who has had an up and down season in 2013, achieved the qualifying time in a low key British Milers’ Club race at Watford on Friday, running 47.34m for the 800m.

Learmonth had expected to achieve the Commonwealth A time much earlier in the season, but after a prolonged spell at altitude training in Font Romeu in the French Pyrenees in April his form unexpectedly dipped.

It was only in the last four weeks has he returned to top class form which included winning the Commonwealth Trials and beating the European junior champion Jake Wightman.

He then went across Europe chasing the A time which included visits to Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Bilbao, Amsterdam, Stockholm, and Antwerp where he hit the 1st A Qualifying time in the Flanders Cup, finishing a close second to the number one Swedish athlete Thomas Rogestadt.

Friday’s Watford race was his final 800m of the season and he won ahead of British finalist Rory Graeme Watson, hopefully securing his place in the Scotland team for Glasgow 2014.

The first draft for the Scottish athletics squad, for runners who hold both A standards, will be announced on September 16 and according to one of his coaches, Eyemouth’s Henry Gray, Learmonth is one hundred percent certain to be named in the first batch.

“Guy has worked extremely hard over the past few years,” said Gray, “and this is the culmination of all that work.

“He has been disappointed at not being selected for the European Championships in the past, but this will be a great experience for him, running in front of a home crowd at a big international event like the Commonwealth Games.

“His family and coaches should all be very proud of him,and he should get plenty of encouragement from the Hampden roar.”

* See next week’s Berwickshire News for a follow-up and reaction from Learmonth to his Commonwealth Games selection.