Glasgow’s passionate crowd will offer their nine home athletes the all-important boost needed to deliver the goods at the European Athletics Indoor Championships, according to head of performance and coaching at Scottish Athletics Stephen Maguire.
The host nation for this year’s competition made history when Great Britain included nine Scottish representatives in their team – three more than their previous record of six on show both in 2015 and 2017.
And Maguire – who returned to the Scottish coaching staff in 2018 after serving as head of power with British Athletics – believes that, coupled with the fervent Emirates Arena support, the stage is set for something special.
4⃣8⃣ athletes 👌
1⃣8⃣ British champions 🏆
9⃣ Scots on home soil 🏴
5⃣ European Indoor champions 👑
1⃣ superb occasion 🎉
— Glasgow 2019 Athletics (@Glasgow2019) February 17, 2019
“We have to show that we shouldn’t be afraid of what we’ve got, to be proud to represent Great Britain as a Scottish athlete competing in a Scottish arena,” he said.
“I think the Scottish crowd will be massively supportive to every athlete, but especially supportive to the Scottish athletes.
“They’ll take the roof off and that’s going to give them that extra percent. Indoor athletics in particular is difficult to predict, but I’d be very confident that the athletes we have representing Great Britain will do very well.
“It’s a tremendous achievement to actually be selected to compete for Great Britain in Glasgow is even more special. I’m delighted; the representation is superb, and you couldn’t have hoped for much better.”
Laura Muir leads the Scottish contingent within the GB squad of 49, which also includes Eilish McColgan, Eilidh Doyle and Andy Butchart, as she looks to defend her 1500m and 3000m titles won in Belgrade back in 2017.
And with Scottish representatives notable in their dominance of one discipline in particular, Maguire was sure to reserve praise for the work done across the country in laying foundations for the success of their middle-distance runners.
“I think we need to keep doing what we’re doing,” he continued.
“I think from an endurance programme perspective, they’re buying into what’s happening; there’s a momentum there and has been for a couple of years.
“The endurance programme is very strong but as I’ve said to people: it’s not happening by accident. There’s been a programme; there’s been a process; there’s been honest conversations.
“Endurance in Scotland has always been strong, and I think now we have athletes who are true international world-class athletes and are being recognised around the world. It’s very special.”