Tokyo Olympics: Laura Muir believes delay could help chances of medal glory

Laura Muir says she is more robust ahead of Tokyo Olympics; the 1500m British record holder opted to not compete at the European Indoor Championships to focus on the outdoor season and Olympics in July

By PA Media

British middle-distance runner Laura Muir believes delaying the Olympics has given her a better chance of glory.

The British record holder over 1500 metres insists she is now more “robust” ahead of the rescheduled Games in Tokyo this summer.

Her 2019 season was disrupted by calf and Achilles problems when she finished fifth in the 1500m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, despite running her second-fastest time.

But, after the enforced delay amid the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, the double European Indoor 1500 and 3000m champion has reaped the benefits.

“I’m certainly in a better position than had the Olympics been last year,” Muir told the PA News agency.

“As much as it was disappointing for everything to be postponed, the overall picture has worked out for me, luckily.

“It’s helped me, I had a lot of issues heading into Doha and off the back of it, the issue with my Achilles, and I wasn’t in spikes for a number of weeks.

“This time last year I was just getting back into things but now I’m in a much stronger position than I was. Luckily having the last year we were able to build on things to make me more robust.

“We’ve incorporated more strength and conditioning into training, specific areas which I’m targeting. You don’t want to fatigue yourself too much but if there was an area where I was weaker I could strengthen it so I’m not so susceptible.”

Muir, 27, finished seventh in the 1500m at Rio 2016 after slipping out of medal contention with 200m left.

This year she has focused on training and her only indoor race came in the World Indoor Tour Lievin in February where she set a new British 1500m indoor record of three minutes 59.58 seconds.

It was still only good enough for second behind Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay, who set a new indoor world record of 3:53.09.

Muir opted not to compete at the European Indoor Championships in Poland this month for a second defence of her titles to focus on the outdoor season and Olympics.

“I managed to fit in one race in the indoor season and that went well. I’ve been doing a big training block around Glasgow so it’s been nice,” said Muir.

“We’ve been able to plough on pretty well, I have a lot of gym equipment in the house and we use grass and roads as part of the normal training anyway so that has been fine. We have been quite adaptive to things.

“All in all, it’s not been too bad all things considered.”

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