Scotland’s Laura Muir wins her first ever Commonwealth title by adding the 1500m gold medal to her tally just one day after picking up the 800m bronze
- Scotland’s Laura Muir won the 1500m to claim a gold medal on Sunday evening
- Muir, 29, crossed the line in four minutes 2.76 seconds to see off her competitors
- While, Ciara Mageean took silver and Australia’s Abbey Caldwell took bronze
- Muir won 800m bronze on Saturday to claim her first Commonwealth medal
This time there was no doubt. No appeal into the late hours, no clipped heel, and no rival with fresher legs and a keener eye for the distance.
Just golden daylight between Laura Muir and those who hoped to catch her in a race measuring 1500m.
They didn’t get close. Not the Australian Linden Hall, who was sixth at the worlds last month, nor Winnie Nanyondo, the champion of the 800m on this stage in 2014.
Scotland’s Laura Muir claimed the Commonwealth 1500m gold medal on Sunday evening
They and nine others had a try of sorts, but when it was time to go, Muir went, and across four minutes and two seconds she became the champion of the Commonwealth.
‘Wow, that was insane,’ she said, but let’s not suggest there was anything bonkers or unpredictable about the outcome.
If anything, it was all rather easy, or as easy as finals of significance ever can be. The field simply wasn’t at her level, to the extent it seemed the greatest risk here came from Muir herself – did she have the legs for it?
The uncertainty in all that came from her workload of four races in six days, the most recent of which was 24 hours earlier, when the 29-year-old won 800m bronze the hard way via a photo-finish and a lengthy appeal from a beaten rival.
That was only resolved at 10.20pm on Saturday, so there was always a chance the psychological and physiological drain might leach into the race at Muir’s favoured distance, at which she won Olympic silver in Tokyo and world bronze last month.
The 29-year-old crossed the line in four minutes 2.76 seconds to see off her competitors
The gold medal in the 1500m on Sunday marked her first ever Commonwealth title
Alas, it didn’t. Not even close. Without Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon on the start line, and therefore free of the greatest there ever was at 1500m, Muir cruised it.
She stayed at the back for a lap, presumably grateful none of her opposition sought to exploit any fatigue by setting a fast pace, and ultimately made her move with 500m to go.
Only the Northern Irish athlete Ciara Mageean went with her, which was rewarded with silver in 4:04, but the jeopardy around gold was non-existent.
On a weekend when a number of Britain’s higher profile athletes failed to convert their status as favourites, Muir was a sure thing.
Her joy at the close showed what it meant, not least because she has long nursed a deep frustration about how her last attempt at the Games played out.
Muir stands on top of the podium once again after winning the women’s 1500metres event
That was in 2014 on home soil in Glasgow, when she was tripped while in medal contention, which meant the only medal missing from her elite set, bizarrely enough, was on this lower plain.
Well, she addressed that with bronze on Saturday and underscored it with gold a day later.
‘I am so happy I won a medal and can stand on that podium,’ she said. ‘I would have told my younger self, “Your time will go, you will learn from it and will come back stronger”.
‘It sounds cheesy but it is true. This means a lot to me running here. I missed the Gold Coast in 2018 so it has been eight years without the Commonwealth and it has been bugging me.
‘The last Commonwealths I was working in the hospital (during her training to become a vet).
‘I had it on my phone in-between consults and operations – I tried to watch as much as I could on my phone – so this one means a lot.
‘The 800m I was so chuffed with. That was a bonus. But this one means a lot to me, especially with Glasgow – that was the most heart-breaking race I ever ran. To come back and win in that event means so much.’
It came just one day after she picked up the bronze medal in the 800m (pictured above)
While Muir delivered a gold, she was almost upstaged by her Scottish team-mate Eilish McColgan, who took 5,000m silver having won gold in the 10,000m on Wednesday.
For all but the final 200m, she led the world silver medallist Beatrice Chebet, only for the fresher Kenyan to kick to victory.
McColgan said: ‘It’s just been a absolute rollercoaster of emotions. Every time I went to the dining hall since the 10k, I’m just crying because it’s amazing.
Scotland teammate Eilish McColgan took silver in the women’s 5000metres on Sunday
‘I was so tired, mentally and physically, but I’m so proud of myself for getting a silver medal.
‘I led for 4800m of that race and to still get a silver medal, I cannot ask for more. I knew everyone would be fresh.
‘It was a different bunch of girls because only a few of us were crazy to do both. Honestly it’s a dream.’
England’s Ben Pattison took bronze in the 800m.