Women's Sports: British Athletics chief Black staying cautious over Muir bid

Great Britain’s Laura Muir

British Athletics performance director Neil Black remains cautious over Laura Muir’s gold medal hopes at the World Championships.

Scot Muir has been battling from a torn calf muscle she suffered in July and will race in the first round of the 1500m in Doha on Wednesday.

The 26-year-old missed the British Championships during her recovery and has not raced competitively for two months.

Reigning European champion Muir is chasing a maiden world title but Great Britain’s team leader Black was careful in choosing his words when asked how her recovery was going and her hopes of victory.

“The honest phrase is Laura Muir is still going to be competitive to win a medal,” said Black at the British squad’s hotel in Doha. 

“Everything suggests that she’s in good shape, progressing towards the shape.

“The thing that Andy (Young, coach) and Laura are really good at is two things. One, you know, you know she’s in great shape all year. So Laura doesn’t have to race a lot to be able to race well. And what they also know is through those processes, how to get her in great shape, without needing races as the confirmation of that.

“So that’s the journey they’re on. It’s about getting there in a week’s time to be able to. The biggest challenge is the obvious one of three races in four days.

“That the bit that’s kind of unknown. So Laura will be there in good shape and then we’ll all see what the outcome is.”

World record holder Genzebe Dibaba is out with a foot injury in a boost to Muir but Holland’s Sifan Hassan, the mile world record holder, and the world and Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon of Kenya remain the favourites.

Black, though, is pleased with Great Britain’s build-up for the Championships in Qatar.

“It feels as though it’s been the best preparation that we’ve had as a team,” he said.

Performance director Neil Black

“It’s been brilliant watching, I was in Dubai (at the holding camp) and there’s almost that initial shock with the combination of the temperature and the humidity.

“But they (the athletes) get used to it actually, quite quickly, and they then feel really positive about their final preparations and how being there became a positive thing.”

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