The Scot isn’t letting a broken hand and adversity get in the way of his European Indoor Championships ambitions
The bandage on his hand is an obvious sign of the most recent challenge Guy Learmonth has had to overcome but the GB team captain is no stranger to dealing with adversity and he intends to show that same fighting spirit when he leads the host nation squad at the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow this weekend.
The Scottish 26-year-old broke his right ring finger bone following a fall at the Müller Indoor Grand Prix Birmingham 12 days ago but refused to have it put in a cast in order to compete for his country over 800m at the Emirates Arena.
His participation became even more significant earlier this week when he was voted by his peers into the role of spearheading the Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad in Scotland and now he hopes to lead by example, despite his latest setback.
“I’ve got plenty of drama in my life on a daily basis and just when things were starting to settle down and I was getting on track with everything, this happens,” says the UK indoor silver medallist, looking down at his hand.
“I’ve overcome a lot of adversity over the last few years and this is just another hurdle in the way, so to speak. I’ll be out there bandaged up and ready to give it my all.”
On the adversity faced, he adds: “I’ve lost a lot of family members, there has been lots of stuff that’s gone on in my personal life which has affected the way I run. There’s always something going on.
“It’s just been non-stop since I started athletics properly in 2010 – I’ve been in car crashes, I’ve lost family members, I’ve lost friends, and then there’s the injuries and the stuff we go through as athletes. There has been a lot of stuff to overcome.
“Athletics has always been my escape in dealing with that stuff.”
Having made it to the start line, Learmonth now has medals in mind – both individually and for his team.
His own campaign will begin on Friday, with the 800m heats taking place from 19:48, when his team-mates Joe Reid and Jamie Webb will be among those joining him in action.
“I’m ready to go, regardless of my hand or anything else that has gone on,” Learmonth says. “I want medals. I want fast times as well, but at the minute it’s just medals and I need to lead by example.
“I need to get through the rounds and get to the final and bring home a medal for my country.
“I want to top the medal table – I think our team can do that,” he adds. “Great Britain and Northern Ireland are strong enough to do that.”
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