Muir prepares for the next big challenge as London awaits

Laura Muir (left) in the IAAF World Championships London 2017 1500 semi-finals
European Athletics

Laura Muir (left) in the IAAF World Championships London 2017 1500 semi-finals

There will not actually be a baton, as such, which Sir Mo Farah can pass onto Laura Muir but the IAAF World Championships London 2017 are very much about the present and the future for the host nation.

On Friday night, Farah, 34, gave Great Britain the perfect start with his sensational 10,000m win and on Monday evening it will Muir’s turn to try to wow the home crowd in the final of the 1500m.

Like Farah, Muir is also competing in the 5000m.

Not for one moment is anyone expecting Muir to suddenly become a golden girl overnight but she has created a foundation which points to potentially a brilliant few years ahead.

Muir is 10 years Farah’s junior but she has already developed a maturitye everything in her stride tomorrow night in a tough final which includes Kenya’s 2016 Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon, 2014 European champion Sifan Hassan, of the Netherlands, and South Africa’s Caster Semenya.

But whatever the outcome, Muir is unlikely to lose the tenaciousness which has seen her become one of Europe’s athletics’ stars of 2017.

“I think my competitors realise that when they are up against me, they’ve got a hard race,” said Muir, speaking to the British newspaper the Daily Telegraph.

“I am just going to run as hard and as fast as I can. If I can win a medal, that will be a great result for me.”
Scotland’s Muir, a veterinary student from the University of Glasgow, has already had a memorable, glorious year.

She has broken five British and two European records since finishing seventh in last year’s Rio 2016 Olympic Games 1500m final and during a wonderful winter, she emerged from the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade with 1500m and 3000m gold and two championships records.

Significantly last summer, she ended the outdoor season as world number one over 1500m with 3:55.22 and has a brilliant ability to thrive at such any array of distances.

Proof of that is seen on the European all-time lists, where her indoor exploits this year brought the 1000m record of 2:31.93 and the 3000m record of 8:26.41.

Magic Muir is a double champion
Magic Muir is a double champion

Great Britain's Laura Muir completed an incredible 1500m/3000m middles distance double on the final day of the Belgrade 2017 European Athletics Indoor Championships.

She has talked of the inspiration she gained from the successes of Britain’s marathon world record-holder and former world champion Paula Radcliffe and double 2004 Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes and has no qualms about tackling both distances.

Speaking to the BBC, she added: “All rounds of the 1500m will finish before the 5000m starts and I have two or three days recovery in between. It works perfectly for me to be in my best shape for the two.

“We showed indoors over 3000m that I was really strong over that event and my training indicates I can do a really good 5000m.”

Muir could not wait to compete at these championships aware that the capacity crowd at the London Stadium will be behind her but equally, turning the clock forward to March 2019, and what noise there will be when she takes to the track in Glasgow for the next European Athletics Indoor Championships.

By then, Farah will be very much into his life on the roads as a marathoner and possibly only present in an ambassadorial capacity as a two-time European indoor champion but no doubt, whether he is physically in Glasgow or not, keeping an eye on the exploits of his teammates on the track and particularly those looking to carry on his run of success.