LAURA Muir can recover from injury to chase a double of world championship and Commonwealth Games gold, UK Athletics head coach Christian Malcolm has predicted.

The Olympic 1500 metres silver medallist was one of many big names watching last weekend’s world indoor championships in Belgrade from the sidelines following a back injury that left her on crutches.

Forced to take a complete break from running and maintain her fitness in the swimming pool, the Scottish star has four months to get back up to speed before the worlds in Oregon.

And Malcolm, who oversaw a meagre two bronzes for GB&NI's team in Serbia, is praying the comeback is quick.

“I’m hoping to see the same as everyone else, a fit Laura Muir being out there competing at the highest level and the highest stage,” he said.
“Laura made a great breakthrough last year of winning her first major global medal. I am pretty sure Laura is focusing and looking to continue that form.”

But Muir is among many athletes who have signalled that they may skip August’s European Championships in Munich with a cluttered calendar cramming two major championships and the Commonwealths into a five-week spell.

Fellow Tokyo medallist Josh Kerr has also signalled he will opt out of the third leg of the treble and Malcolm – who has previously warned of the risk of burn-out – will not apply pressure on his top performers to do all three.

“A lot of the other athletes haven’t done the indoor season,” the Welshman said. “There are a few there that feel maybe they can do all three championships. Some events can lend to that. There are also others that obviously cannot. I think it is about getting these next four weeks, see how training goes, and then we can assess how many will do two or three of the championships.”

Rumours have swirled in recent weeks that Sir Mo Farah, who turns 39 today, may have one last tilt at a major medal over 10,000m at the Europeans after failing in his late bid to qualify for Tokyo last summer.

The four-time Olympic champion might even hunt at spot at the worlds, Malcolm hinted. “We don’t know at the moment,” he said. “It’s 50-50.” Finishing up with an effort at last June’s Olympic trials that was far off his best was not the sign-off would surely have wished for.

“He had an injury and unfortunately that it’s the way it happens,” Malcolm added “Not everybody, not every great sportsperson as we all know finishes on a great moment. Look at Muhammad Ali.

“Does he still have a talent? Yes, he does. So let’s see if his body can handle it. Over the next six weeks, Mo will know a little bit more about where he is at.”