Commonwealth Games 2014: Q&A with Lynsey Sharp

Lynsey Sharp is European 800m champion and one of Scotland’s big hopes

Your sister Carly competes and your parents used to be athletes. That sounds like a very competitive household

"When I was younger, everything used to end in a physical fight. Something like a board game. Mum would see us beforehand and say: 'I know how this is going to end', and that was usual with me crying. Well, that’s how I remember it."

With both parents having competed at the Commonwealth Games [sprinter dad Cameron won gold and four bronze medals at three separate Games; mum Carol ran the 800m for Scotland in the 1982 Games], surely the pressure’s on

"My dad’s my harshest critic. Even after Saturday’s race in Glasgow, he had words with me about a race plan. He’s only happy if I win and even then not even 100 per cent — he’ll find something to pick at. I sometimes laugh at him but someone has to do it."

You’ve only recently come back after a year out with that tendon injury. You’ve said that since then you’re running angry. Is that healthy?

"I don’t know but it seems to be working so I’m not planning on changing that. I didn’t think I’d be able to compete at Hampden Park in front of my home crowd at the Commonwealth Games. When something is taken away from you, only then do you realise what it means to you. Maybe I was a bit complacent after 2012 when I had such a good year. So the injury’s given me the hunger and the anger, and it seems to be working on track. It’s important to be positive and happy in everything, but on the track it’s just different now."

What’s it going to be like running in a Scotland vest and what’s the medal expectation?

"I’ve never competed for Scotland as I was injured for the last Games in Delhi. I should make the final and that’s the initial goal. After that, I should be competing for medals."

With all your injury problems, did you ever think about trying out another sport?

"When I was unable to run, I did a lot of bike sessions and there were times when I genuinely thought I wouldn’t get back on track in time for the Commonwealth Games. So I got talking to one of the girls on the British Cycling team, Elinor Barker, and she said I should  speak to one of the physiologists there to find out what track  event might best suit me. Maybe the team pursuit might have been the one for me, but thankfully the injury cleared up after that and I was able to get back running."

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During the tough times with injury, did it get you thinking what you might do if the day job goes belly-up?

"I graduated in 2012, which was really important for me to have that to fall back on, just in case I couldn’t compete anymore. It  was a law degree and I really enjoyed it."

Should you be forced into a legal career, what area appeals?

"Probably criminal stuff although I’m not sure I could do defence — I’d find that hard. Otherwise business or property law also appeal."

I have to ask you about Alysia Montano, the American who recently ran an  800 metres while 34 weeks pregnant. What did you think?

"That was incredible, I don’t even know how that’s possible. Seven months pregnant — crazy. It’s the last thing I’d be doing. And even more impressively she was only about half a minute away from her personal best. That’s impressive, crazy, but impressive."

Ok, finally, what about any bad habits?

I spend way too much time on social media.

Lynsey Sharp uses Multipower Sportsfood. Visit www.multipower.com

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