Beth Dobbin admits she has work to do to blow off the cobwebs after coming off second best in her first outing since the world championship semi-finals of 2019.
The 26-year-old was runner-up in a two-horse race at the 4J Studios indoor Invitational in Glasgow yesterday as world medallist Zoey Clark clocked 52.03 seconds to come out on top in the 400 metres.
But stretching the legs – 493 days after her previous appearance in Doha – was vital, said the European 200m finalist, to make sure she remains on track for the re-arranged Olympics in Tokyo.
“It felt weird because I’d never missed a season before so coming back after being out for 2020 was strange,” Dobbins said. “Training really doesn’t replicate racing so I really felt rusty out there.
“But I’m glad I put myself through it because if I’d waited all the way to outdoors, it would be another three months without a race.”
The performance signalled next month’s European Indoors in Poland might be a step too far, she admits, with her schedule hampered by a hamstring pull sustained last summer.
And Dobbin added: “If I felt in better shape, I would have gone but I missed a lot, especially speed work. I’ve been slow into training this winter so although I hoped to surprise myself here, I’m not quite where I need to be yet.”
Elsewhere at the Emirates Arena, Edinburgh AC prospect Joe Ewing claimed a Scottish junior record in the 1,500m that had stood unbroken for 50 years.
With world finalist Neil Gourley acting as pacemaker, the teen ran 3:47.58 for victory to best the mark of past master Frank Clement.
Glasgow-based Londoner Kris Aiken lowered his personal best to take the 60m in 6.90 secs and then won the 400m in 48.42.
Alisha Rees was the quickest woman in the 60m in 7.39 secs with Clark behind in 7.48 and Paralympic medallist Maria Lyle running a lifetime best of 9.03.
Olympic hopeful Nikki Manson cleared 1.86m to win the mixed high jump while Jenny Selman repeated her victory of seven days earlier in the women’s 800m in 2:04.26 after Lynsey Sharp performed pacemaker duties for her long-time rival.