The legs, Laura Muir confessed, just did not have enough juice. With less than a lap remaining of last night’s women’s 1500 metres final at the World Championships, the 26-year-old was in a position where a decade of so much labour could be realised.

It was not to reap gold as that ship had sailed. Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands, barrelling away, untouchable, en route to becoming the first athlete to combine victory in the metric mile with the 10,000 metres title.

Muir’s mission, as expected, was to snare silver. Her teeth clenched, her forearms swinging there was a gap of a few strides.

But simply, the Scot did not have enough. The Olympic champion, Faith Kipyegon of Kenya, blew by first. Others followed. Hassan was clear, and astoundingly so, setting a championship record of 3:51.95.

Muir surpassed, delivering her quickest time of the year of 3:55.76 but it was, to her regret, enough only for fifth.

“I don’t know what to say –I was fifth in 3:55,” the Scot said. “To run 3:55 when I missed so much training. I’m just speechless. I’m just so proud of myself.

“I couldn’t have asked more of myself than to do that.

“If I can run that sort of time off the amount of training I’ve done, if I’m 100 per cent fit I’m going to be so confident going into next year.”

Fighting back from a torn calf sustained in July was, perhaps, even tougher than this.

“It’s been a really bumpy journey,” she said. “The rehab didn’t go as smoothly as we wanted to. We had a couple of setbacks. I was tweaking a couple of things. You lose that conditioning when you come back.

“I got a stomach bug a couple of weeks ago that took out half a week. If you add it all up, the injury took a lot out. Another tweak was half a week. It all builds up.”

Her Glasgow-based training partner Gabi Stafford, was one place behind, lowering her Canadian record to 3:56.12 with Ciara Mageean beating her own Northern Irish mark in 10th.

Given Hassan’s close association with Alberto Salazar, banned last week for doping offences, many will now look at her performances with astonishment and not a little suspicion.

“Given the news in the past couple of days I think there is a cloud and there’s no avoiding that,” Muir acknowledged. “All you can do is focus on your performances and for me to do that sort of race I’m really happy.

“We’re all in it for the medals, to run well and to run in championships and just to enjoy the sport.

“At championships you have to stay focused and not let these things distract you, that’s what I did and went into the final really focused.”

Muir, despite everything, will now head towards an Olympic campaign with a belief that her golden moment can arrive in Tokyo.

A world semi-final in 2013 in Moscow was followed by fifth in 2015 in Beijing and fourth in 2017 in London with a seventh place at the Rio Olympics in between. Along the way, she has corralled European titles, indoors and out. Plus small slivers of history with records captured and lowered. She remains close.

“I take a lot of confidence that things can be so disrupted and I can still go out and produce that kind of performance,” she said.

“Hopefully next year I’ll be fighting fit and 100 per cent going into the Olympics. If I can do that – and 3:55, is me unfit – I’d love to see what I can do if I’m 100 per cent.”

Zoey Clark, pictured, senses GB&NI’s women can build on recent traditions by reaching the podium in the 4x400m relay tonight. The Aberdonian, 24, laid the foundations on the opening leg of yesterday’s heats before her colleagues secured second place in a season’s best of 3:24.99.

With Emily Diamond to sub in, Clark will hope for a fifth major medal in three years. It is a product of a relay programme that demands a fulsome commitment from all concerned.

“It’s difficult because we live in different parts of the country but once a month we get together to train,” she said.

“Sometimes, we’ll have funny team-building exercises, just enjoying ourselves. We’ll compete against other relay teams. We had a particularly memorable one where we all did a Crystal Maze, to challenge us. We’re all very competitive so it gets very crazy.”

Their male counterparts thought they had missed out on the final for the first time since 1999, finishing fifth with veteran campaigner Martyn Rooney shouldering the blame.

“I was trying to run the whole thing from lane one,” the former European champion said. “I should have committed one way or the other and I paid for it.”

However, Rooney and co were later reinstated after Botswana, who qualified sixth, were disqualified, so they get to run again today.

Meanwhile, Cindy Ofili slipped into 100m hurdles semi-finals with third place in her opening heat in 12.97 secs. Fourth at the 2016 Olympics, the 25-year-old has since been bedevilled by injuries but has rebuilt.

“Things have started clicking for me towards the end of this season and I am so ready,” she said.