AMID the damaging merry-go-round of departures and arrivals at UK Athletics and the debate over the innate worth of the product they espouse, the sport badly needs to re-focus attention on its contenders as an Olympic summer beckons.

The feel-good factor, in recent months, has felt thin on the ground, but Jemma Reekie’s emergence into the elite has been a rare reminder that track and field can command attention for performances rather than its politics.

Further reinforcement might come at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow this afternoon where a cast of Tokyo 2020 hopefuls, including the 21-year-old, will gather for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix.

Reekie’s ascent – with three British records claimed in two weeks – has earned her a share of top billing alongside her training partner, close friend and mentor Laura Muir, who will chase a world record over 1000 metres in what is set to be her only pre-summer appearance.

The four-time European indoor champion admits she is additionally motivated after ceding so many of her Scottish bests in double-quick time.

“Since the turn of the year I am three down already,” she laughs. “I am at a net loss so I have to turn one back. I am feeling a bit left out.”

Yet any attempt by the promotional machine to turn this into a rivalry to match that of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett from a middle-distance golden era is destined to run aground. Ever since Reekie began to commute from her parents’ home in Ayrshire to the group headed by Muir and coached by Andy Young, unshakeable bonds have been built.

“We have shared apartments and rooms,” says Reekie. “Been up mountains together. And I know I can go to her with anything I need to speak about.”

Muir is highly protective. Both shied away yesterday from the thorny issue of the prototype Nike spikes they wear, footwear which some allege offer unfair advantages. The established name will do what she can to prevent Reekie from melting in this unfamiliar spotlight.

“She has raced amazingly,” Muir says. “But I am wary of piling loads of pressure. I think she is capable of doing very, very special things. It is about going at the right pace.”

Having captured the British records – including two which previously belonged to Muir – Reekie’s momentum looks well-judged. Discovering that she was gluten intolerant last summer allowed beneficial adjustments to be made. An operation to fix her sinuses has extended her training capacity.

Denying the public a clash of the colleagues, she will run the 1500m today. The European record has not been checked. Who knows what boundaries she and her mentor might cross en route to Tokyo?

“We’re just going to push each other to get faster and faster,” Muir says. “And hopefully that will be exciting for the summer.”