WHEN Beth Dobbin became an Olympian last summer, she knew there would be considerably less pressure on the remainder of her career. 

Having dreamt of making it to the Olympic Games since she was nine years old, the sprinter’s appearance in Tokyo meant she no longer had that lingering fear that she would never quite fulfil her ambitions. 

However, despite this pressure being removed from her shoulders, Dobbin has by no means taken her foot off the gas. 

Yet another selection for a major championship duly came courtesy of her second place in the 200m at the British Championships last month and so Dobbin begins her World Championship campaign in Eugene today with an underlying calmness that will, she hopes, see her contend for a final place. 

“I’ve taken a different approach this year – normally I’d set certain targets but now, I feel more confident in myself, the 28-year-old says. 

“After making the Olympics, which was all I’d ever wanted to achieve, I feel like anything more is a bonus.  

“I’ve already achieved more than most people would ever have thought I would so now I’ve got a sense of I just want to go and enjoy it and see how I can do; as long as I execute my race as well as I can, I can do no more.  

“In Eugene, I hope that’ll be enough to get to the semis and we’ll have to see if it’ll be enough to get to the final.  

“I’m under no illusions about how competitive the sprints are so as long as I do what I know I’m capable of, that’s all I can ask of myself.” 

Dobbin burst onto the British sprinting scene by becoming British 200m champion in 2018 and since then, has established herself as one of Scotland’s most consistent performers and has ensured she has become something of a mainstay of the GB team. 

Dobbin is the furthest thing you could get from an arrogant athlete but she admits she now expects regular GB selection from herself and the fact she is Scotland’s leading light when it comes to sprints is a role she is keen to embrace. 

“It’s a nice feeling having people expecting me to make major championship teams - I’d never want to sound cocky but I feel like that’s what I deserve now,” she says. “Anyone can have one good year but I feel like backing up your performances after having a breakthrough is harder so I’m really pleased that I’m being viewed as a regular in GB teams now because it says a lot for the work I’ve put in and it’s definitely something to be proud of. 

“I view myself differently now compared to a few years ago – I feel like if I hadn’t made this team for the Worlds, I’d have felt like I’d failed which I know is daft but that’s what I expect of myself now.  

“Especially in the sprints, there’s not too many people who’ve managed to make teams consistently and from a Scottish point of view, we have so many brilliant middle and distance runners and they’re such huge names but to also have sprinters is very important.  

“It’s vital for young girls to have sprinters to look up to and I’d like to think I can be that person because growing up, I didn’t have any female Scottish sprinters to look up to.” 

Dobbin, along with her Scottish compatriots in Eugene, have the challenge of coping with the almost immediate start of the Commonwealth Games, which comes just four days after the conclusion of these World Championships. 

With Dobbin having missed out on selection for Gold Coast 2018 by a mere hundredth of a second, the Commonwealth Games has long been a target for her and while she acknowledges the scale of the task of peaking for two major championships within just a few days of each other, she is also embracing the challenge, and has aspirations of heading to next month’s European Championships too. 

“I went to watch Glasgow 2014 then I was so close to making the team in 2018 so I’ve had the Commonwealth Games in my heart for a long time,” she says.  

“It’s the one major championships I’ve not done yet and, of course, it’s the one time we can run for Scotland which is something I know will mean so much to myself and my family. 

“Three major championships so close together will be tough but it’ll be all about managing recovery.  

“It’ll not be easy, either physically or mentally. The mental side of a championships can be quite overwhelming so I’ve been developing strategies to cope.  

“I know targeting all three of Worlds, Commies and European is ambitious but that’s my target and I was never going to budge on it. It’s so hard to turn any of them down and so I’m excited for the challenge.”