Berwick athlete Guy Learmonth believes having two big sporting events in Scotland next year can be the perfect platform for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.
Learmonth was speaking on Tuesday, as British Athletics announced the British Indoor Championships and Muller Grand Prix would be coming to Glasgow in February.
The 800m runner believes it’s a massive fortnight for Scottish athletes and says a home crowd can help spur him on to success.
He said: “My first championships was the Glasgow Commonwealth Games,” said Learmonth. “I thought they would be almost once in a lifetime, these big sporting events in Glasgow.
“It’s incredible. It’s amazing that so many big sporting events are coming to Scotland and coming to Glasgow. It’s amazing to be a part of that.
“It’s massive. Everything’s leading into Tokyo so it’s going to be a great springboard having two big races in such an important year.
“I really want to capitalise on these and run well. Now there’s an extra motivation to run well in front of a home crowd. I always raise my game on these big occasions.”
By Learmonth’s own admission it has been a “difficult” year, having had the highs of captaining the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at the European Indoors in March, but also narrowly missing out on qualification for the World Athletic Championships in Doha kicking off this week.
He added: “You never want to let anyone down - that sounds crazy but my friends and family when it’s back home in Scotland can all come and watch.
“A lot of my races now are abroad and across the UK so it’s difficult for them to get to, so when they’re in the crowd it really lifts me.
“The atmosphere goes through the roof and the Scottish people really get behind you and their own.
“It’s an incredible feeling so it’ll lift me massively next season.
“This year has been full of everything and anything - loads of injuries, illnesses, lots of setbacks. It’s been a very difficult year so I’m glad to see the back end of it.
“I was two weeks into my break and I got a call about this and straight away I thought ‘right, let’s get back training’.
“It keeps me motivated and gives me a big, big lift so hopefully I’m making sure I’m correcting all the mistakes and I won’t have the year I’ve had this year, next year.
“It’s a very important year so it’ll be full steam ahead.”
To register for tickets visit: https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/events-and-tickets/2020-event-registration.