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SA’s Scott out to make her mark in Monaco again

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By Mark Etheridge

A personal best over 1500 metres in Padova, Italy, at the weekend leaves South Africa’s Dominique Scott well-placed for another good outing in Monaco on Friday evening.

Cape Town’s United States-based middle-distancer lines up against a quality field in the 3000m at the Diamond League meeting, the very same meeting where she made her professional debut a year ago.

She says her weekend’s Italian job was a helter-skelter affair, but was more than happy with the outcome, a 4min 08.04sec sixth-place finish in a race won by Britain’s Laura Muir in 4:05.01.

‘I was really happy with the result as it was a personal record by half a second. I knew I was ready to run a PR, but the race was pretty crazy. There were 26 girls and there were two starting rows – 18 girls on the line and then another eight just behind that.

‘Having so many girls in the race created lot of traffic, but I’m really happy that I could still pull out a PR. Most of the girls, actually, are 1500m or milers and most of them know me as a 5000/10000m runner, so to run in a race like that and place sixth I was pretty happy.’

The packed field made for an interesting finish. ‘Coming into the final straight I had to swing real wide and was actually running in lane three around the final bend with around 120m to go, trying to get around and overtake. But I was able to close really hard and kick down quite a few girls, actually quite a handful in the final 100m – I think quite a few girls were surprised by my speed and turnover at the end.’

Twenty-five-year-old Scott believes there’s a reason for her new-found power. ‘Since the Rio Olympics I’ve been working more in the gym on my strength. That can be seen in my closing stages, both in Rome over that 5000m and then the 10km road race in Boston a few weeks back, and now in Italy over 1500m.

‘I was able to kick down the girls within my range and that goes to show that strength work in the gym is making a difference. I’m feeling a lot stronger at the end and my form isn’t breaking down. I’m able to get up on my toes and kick down and it feels really good to now say that I have a closing kick.’

Having arrived in Monaco on Tuesday for Friday’s 3000m, she’s excited.’This will be a good sort of preview of world championships. There are a lot of really good athletes who’ll be in the 5000 and 10,000m in London. So I’ll just try and stick my nose in it and get a PR. Last year I had a big PR here, so hopefully the same year but again, it’s another race and another opportunity to get experience at a high level.

‘I’m feeling really confident and feel like my speed is there, having just run that 1500m PR. It’s not going to be easy, as all these girls are real studs and will be running a fast pace, but for my part I’m just hoping to run my own race and come away with a PR and make my coach, husband, family and everyone who supports me proud.’

Up against Scott in the 7.5-lapper will be a smaller field of 15 compared to the 26 in Padova. Quickest over the distance is Kenya’s Helen Obiri with an 8:20.68 personal best.

The meeting will be screened live on SS7 from 8pm on Friday evening.

Picture of Scott on the move in Padova (centre of picture next to athlete No122), courtesy of Steffani Fabio


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