Stonehaven runner Kelsey Stewart is hoping for Swede success as she jets off to the European Under-20 Athletics Championships.
The 18-year-old Aberdeen Athletics club ace is part of the Great Britain 4x400m relay squad in Sweden’s Eskilstuna, the picturesque city near two of Sweden’s largest lakes and the home for four days to the cream of the continent’s young athletes.
Kelsey will take to the track on Saturday morning in the first round of her event, with the final one of the last races of the championships on Sunday evening.
And she is targeting a place on the medal podium after recently equalling her 400m PB at the UK Championships in Birmingham in a time of 54.83sec where she shared the track with the best of the country’s tracks stars.
Kelsey, who is heading to university in September, said: “I think our medal hopes are quite strong. I will be running in the heat but hopefully I can do well and get a place for the final too.
“Our biggest rivals for medals will probably be Poland and Germany I’d imagine but we are confident if we run well we can make the podium.”
Kelsey’s love for running began at primary school when she pestered her parents to let her run in a one-miler - and luckily they caved in because the primary four girl went on to come second!
She said: “We go a letter at school for a one-mile cross country race, so I took it home and my mum and dad weren’t too keen on the idea.
“But I managed to talk them round by pestering them and I ended up finishing second girl in primaries 4-7, so that’s really when I got the bug for running.”
Kelsey, coached by Ken and Joyce Hogg, hopes to follow in the spikes of Scots star Laura Muir, the 22-year-old British 1,500m champion who is taking the track by storm.
“My favourite athlete at the moment is Laura Muir, she is just unbelievable, she’s got no fear.
“My coaches put the emphasis on long-term development and want me best performances to come at senior level.
“Then big target for me is the 2018 Commonwealth Games and I would love to be part of that. Next year is the world under-20s in Russia so that is also a goal for me.
“The dream is to go to the Olympics, but that’s only every four years and athletes have to hit form at exactly the right time for that.”
If Kelsey can keep up her steady progress then that Olympic dream will no doubt become a reality.
Keep up to date with the action from the European Under-20 Championships at www.eskilstuna2015.com