Dame Kelly Holmes says she completely understands Laura Muir’s decision to miss the 2018 Commonwealth Games to focus on her studies.
The Milnathort middle-distance runner really announced herself on the world stage by winning the 1500m silver and 3000m bronze at the World Indoor Championships last month.
She would have been a heavy favourite for the podium on the Gold Coast, but the 24-year-old has instead decided to skip the Games to complete the final year of her degree in veterinary medicine.
Having combined running with her career in the British Army until becoming a full-time athlete in 1997, Dame Kelly knows a thing or two about balancing work with athletics.
And the double Olympic gold medallist, who was speaking at a PruGOals event ahead of the Prudential RideLondon in July, said she believes the local athlete Muir has made the correct call.
“Laura is a fantastic athlete and I think over the coming years she’s the one-to-watch when it comes to middle-distance runners and her profile in British Athletics,” she said.
“I juggled both my military career and my athletics for many years.
“I used to use my leave to go away and train and compete.
“I suppose when you’re doing academic studies to become a vet, as she’s doing, that’s really hard and she’s probably thinking about her future.
“This year for her athletics, she’s already had the World Indoor Championships and she double medalled there, so she knows her status.
“She has the European Championships in the summer, so she could set her marker again on the world stage, as middle-distance running in the 1500m is very European dominated.
“Then she’ll have the World Championships and the Olympic Games, so I think for her she’s probably doing the right thing.”
Dame Kelly Holmes was speaking at the PruGOals training rides, an initiative set up by Prudential to empower young people to drive their ambitions and fulfill their potential regardless of social or economic background. For more information, visit prugoals.co.uk