Laura Muir drops Olympic double plans to focus on 1500m

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Photo credit: Nathan Stirk - British Athletics - Getty Images
Photo credit: Nathan Stirk - British Athletics - Getty Images

Laura Muir has dropped her plan to contest the 800m in Tokyo, opting instead to focus on the 1500m, which is her stronger distance.

Muir had been selected for the 800m in the Team GB team list announced last week, but has since surrendered her spot, the Evening Standard reported. Commonwealth finalist Alexandra Bell will take her place.

Muir has historically been strongest in the 1500m, which she currently holds the British record for. While she only came seventh at the distance at the last Olympic Games in Rio, she won a gold medal in the 1500m at both the European and World Indoor Championships in 2018.

However she is yet to collect a medal in the 800m at a major championships. She competed in the distance at the British Championships in June, but came third behind Keely Hodkinson and fellow Scot Jemma Reekie.

Muir wrote in an Instagram post after the race: ‘Wow what a race! Slightly disappointed with my run today coming 3rd at the British Championships over 800m, but hopeful I have done enough to be selected in the event alongside the 1500m for the Tokyo Olympics.’

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Muir is yet to comment on her decision to surrender her place. But competing in both the 800m and 1500m would have left her with little time to rest and recover, as the events overlap.

The full Team GB squad for Tokyo was finalised this week. It is the largest ever delegation sent to a foreign Games and also includes more women than men for the first time in history. The British Olympic Association said this was due to a mixture of impressive qualification performances across sports and an increased number of female events at the Games.

Mark England, Team GB’s Chef de Mission, said: ‘After five years of hard work, our team for Tokyo 2020 is now complete. We have a strong squad of athletes ready to do their country proud and it’s great to welcome our largest travelling British Olympic team ever.

‘I am also delighted we will be taking more women than men to a summer Olympic Games. It is a first for Team GB in its 125-year history – 2021 is truly the year of the female Olympian.’

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