WITH Andy Murray relegated to Challenger events and the secondary attraction of doubles, a vacancy has opened up at the apex of Dunblane’s sporting rankings. Perhaps Jamie, or maybe the other Andy, of the Clan Butchart, can present a compelling candidacy to fill the void. And with the IAAF world championships less than six weeks away, the 27-year-old believes he possesses the capacity to bring another major title back to the town.

His place on the plane to Doha was formally confirmed yesterday as he breezed to 5,000 metres victory at the UK Athletics Championships in Birmingham in 13:54.29, finishing more than seven seconds clear of nearest challenger Marc Scott.

It was just what he had expected of himself following a relentless spell of toil in the French mountains.

“When everyone’s looking at you, I guess there is a bit more pressure,” he said. “Nothing really happened in the race, it just played into my hands. So it was quite nice to get the win and come away with what I was expecting.”

A first major championship medal is the treasure he most covets. He came sixth in the 2016 Olympic final in Rio but that brought only happy memories, not tangible rewards. Thursday’s Diamond League final in Zurich will provide an opportunity to benchmark himself against the best of his foes.

Then a return to the mountains to steel himself for racing in the 35-degree heat of the desert that may make or break him.

“I want to get faster,” he said. “In Doha, it’s going to come down to the last lap. I’m going to go to Dubai for a training camp there. I’ve been in the sauna a lot after runs. I’m usually pretty good with heat. Rio was the first time I’d run in the heat and I actually enjoyed it. Doha will be at night time so I’m not worried.”

Kirsty Law claimed the first gold on offer over the two-day meeting in the women’s discus with a best of 54.23m, while Allan Smith cleared a season’s best of 2.25m to land the high jump title. Both are short of the Doha qualifying standard, as was their fellow Scot, Jax Thoirs, despite raising his Scottish outdoor pole vault record to 5.56m in coming second to Harry Coppell.

With the final significant meeting at Alexander Stadium before it is rebuilt for the 2022 Commonwealth Games doubling as the UK trials, other results served to determine those headed to the Middle East and those staying home.

It came down to tiny margins, measured in thousands of a second, in the men’s 100 metres final where Ojie Edoburun was granted victory in a photo finish ahead of Adam Gemili and Zharnel Hughes with all three men timed at 10.18 secs.

The Londoner has struggled to convert talent into triumphs. At 23, he believes false starts are a thing of the past, useful when the presumed favourite for the world title, Christian Coleman of the USA, seems likely to be barred amid reports of three missed doping tests.

“I have always bottled it at the champs,” Edoburun acknowledged. “I am so lucky I not only overcame the competition but my own mental demons. I always feel the only person that can beat me I myself and my brain. I feel like if have my mental side on point and I am physically healthy, I am up there. Hopefully this is the beginning of things to come.”

Dina Asher-Smith was much more comfortable in landing gold in the women’s 100m in 10.96 secs with Alisha Rees eighth. Lynsey Sharp advanced impressively in to today’s women’s 800m final by winning her heat in 2:04.05.