Stuart Weir reminds us that Scottish superstar Laura Muir has had an extraordinary season, with medals, four in fact, in three global championships.
Laura Muir races bravely. Her bronze in Eugene called for her to make a quick decision, go with Kipyegon, and or chance no medal. In the 800m at the Commonwealth Games, her gutty finish netted her a bronze medal, and the gold in the 1,500m was all about a long kick home. In Munich, that move with 450 meters to go, put her in gold medal land and 4 medals in 2022.
Stuart Weir wrote this feature on one of the sports superstars, Laura Muir.
Laura Muir: an extraordinary season
What a season Laura Muir has had! Three championships, four medals. At the beginning of the season, she openly stated that she had unfinished business with the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games.
In 2019 she was among the favorites for a medal when a serious injury reduced her training and preparation. Despite not running for 6 weeks prior to Doha, she smashed her PR, running 3:55.76. In the 2014 Commonwealth Games in her native Scotland, she was tripped and finished 11th. She was unable to run in the 2018 Commonwealths in Australia as the April date was in the middle of her final year of vet studies.
The 2022 season offered a chance for her to set the record straight, but only if she accepted a really demanding program. She said at the beginning of the season that the order of the championships suited her priorities. Oregon would be the big one. Then she wanted to run for Scotland and get that elusive Commonwealth medal. Defending her European 1500m title would be the icing on the cake,
Her 2022 championship record was:
18 July World Championship 1500m 3rd 3:55.28
6 August Commonwealth Games 800m 3rd 1:57.87
7 August Commonwealth Games 1500m 1st 4:02.75
19 August European Championships 1500m 1st 4:01.08
Talking to me after the Munich final, she said: “It was tough. Very hard. Ciara and Sofia are running very well just now. I had to bring my A game to try to cross the line first, and I am so pleased that I was able to hold it together. This summer has been hard, but it is a unique opportunity to have 3 championships. I wanted to give it a go, and I am so pleased that I did. I couldn’t have asked for any more”.
I wondered if she had been tempted to send coach Andy a text after the Commonwealths saying, “Gone on holiday, see you next year!”
“I did feel ‘Oh no, Another one to go”, she told me. “The Europeans was definitely the hardest of the three – which seems crazy as it is only one event and only two rounds, so on paper, it definitely looks easier. But for me, this was definitely the hardest coming in to defend my title, off the back of the Commonwealth, which had been hugely emotional and doing the double. I came here thinking just to win a medal would be a great achievement. So come here and win and defend my title…yea”.
One of the challenges has been keeping herself sharp over a long summer: “Training has been affected in the last 5 weeks. I have not been able to train as normal. In championship running, you have all the rounds, so I wasn’t doing as much volume as usual had I been just training and not racing. But I still think I am in good shape physically. I felt a bit battered after the Commonwealths, and we had to tweak training because my body was feeling it. I think it was more mental because it was so, so draining off the back of worlds and Commonwealths. But it was tougher mentally to come back for this. But I have felt good this week. I am used to running when I am tired and when I am stressed. I have been in the situation many times before. So I said, ‘just do it once more”.
Not that she is finished yet! Another 3 or 4 races to come this season.