Laura Muir vows to keep moving forward despite uncertainty at UK Athletics

·4 min read

Laura Muir vowed to remain focused amid UK Athletics’ coaching changes and insisted patience is needed with the post-Olympic fallout.

The 28-year-old, who won 1500m Olympic silver this summer, is keeping calm despite the potential problems at UKA.

Some of Britain’s leading athletes have reportedly discussed quitting their UKA contracts, giving up their funding, amid concerns over coaching cuts.

Laura Muir and Kadeena Cox run while holding flags behind themMedia Day – Alexander Stadium
Laura Muir, left, was one of Team GB’s success stories on the track in Japan (Jacob King/PA)

A number of coaches were recently told their services would be either no longer required by UK Athletics or that their hours would be cut.

Andy Young – who has coached Muir to five European titles along with her Olympic silver – was believed to be among them.

Muir said: “I’m incredibly lucky with my situation, my coach is very, very supportive and we will stick by one another and, regardless of the situation, we’re going to keep moving forward and still perform well for years to come.

Kadeena Cox and Laura Muir hold flags aloft behind them
Laura Muir, pictured with Kadeena Cox, claimed silver in Tokyo (Jacob King/PA)

“So much is under review right now, it’s hard to know what’s going on. We won’t really know the details of what’s happening for a few more weeks. After the Olympic cycle everything changes.”

Muir was one of the successes for Team GB on the track in Japan as they won just six medals in athletics and failed to claim gold for the first time since 1996 amid injury issues.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson suffered a calf injury to withdraw from the heptathlon after battling back from a ruptured Achilles while Dina Asher-Smith came into the Games nursing a serious hamstring problem.

Adam Gemili had a last-gasp hamstring injury in the warm up for his 200m heat while Zharnel Hughes suffered cramp to false start in the 100m final.

Adam Gemili walks the track after pulling up injured during the men’s 200m heats
Adam Gemili walks the track after pulling up injured during the men’s 200m heats (Martin Rickett/PA)

Muir’s medal added to Keely Hodgkinson’s 800m silver, Holly Bradshaw’s pole vault silver, Josh Kerr’s 1500m bronze while the women’s 4x100m squad took bronze.

The men won relay silver but could see it stripped after CJ Ujah’s positive drugs test.

Despite the disappointment in Japan, though, Muir feels the future of track and field in the UK remains bright.

She said: “It’s the reality of sport, it is so brutal and unpredictable. Athletics is so competitive. It’s the nature of sport. I still think we’re in a very good place.

“We had so many promising athletes who could have won medals but it shows the potential is there and there is a lot of exciting young talent.

Kadeena Cox (L) and Laura Muir (R) alongside Birhcfield Harriers sports club members Sophia Deans and Amy Harland
Laura Muir, at right, is pushing for further improvements in her racing career (Jacob King/PA)

“I proved myself. For so many years I’ve come so close and I’ve not achieved what I felt like I was able to.

“To go there and win that Olympic medal, a silver with a British record, I’m like, ‘yeah, that’s what I can do.’

“It’s so nice to have that and I can take a bit of pressure off myself. I can go out there and perform even better at the next three championships.”

Muir was at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham to see the progress of the stadium, which is undergoing a £72million reconstruction ahead of next year’s Commonwealth Games.

Laura Muir (L) and Kadeena Cox (R), run alongside Birhcfield Harriers sports club members Amy Harland and Sophia Deans
Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium will be the focal point of the Commonwealth Games in 2022 (Jacob King/PA)

The Games sit between the World Championships and European Championships but, despite a busy schedule, the Scot is keen to compete and complete her medal collection.

She said: “I have got a bit of unfinished business with the Commonwealth Games. I competed in Glasgow in 2014 which was fantastic but I got tripped in the final and I had my vet finals in 2018.

“This is the first championships I’m going into where, hopefully, I can get on that podium. It would mean a lot to me next year so I would love to come here and do myself justice.

“We have the three championships next year so it’s going to be very hard and very demanding to do all three. The Commonwealth Games, for me, is probably the most important if I went with my heart because I don’t get to compete for Scotland very often.”

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