RENFREWSHIRE athletes hoping for a place in the Olympics will face their selection D-Day this weekend.
Athletes vying for spot in the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for this summer’s Games should know their fate over Saturday and Sunday.
The Olympic Trials are being staged at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium where numerous dreams of London 2012 will be realised – or broken.
A spokesman for the organisers said: “Anticipation, excitement, fear and disappointment are just a few of the thoughts that will be running through the minds of the British athletes as they head to the Birmingham Alexander Stadium for the Aviva 2012 Trials.
“Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis and Phillips Idowu will join over 750 of Britain’s best athletes going head-to-head for selection for this summer’s Olympic Games.
“Following a sell-out indoor season, a capacity crowd is expected in what will be an exhilarating start to the outdoor season.
“Small fractions will separate victory from despair, as 750 athletes are whittled down to the chosen few.
“Dreams will be made and hearts will be broken.”
Claire Gibson will contest the 1,500m race.
The Kilbarchan AAC captain made her Great Britain debut at the age of 29 back in January when she ran in the Kelvin Hall.
Gibson then won the British indoor 1,500m in Sheffield on a day when she only just missed the qualifying time for the World Indoors in Turkey.
She said: “My experience as a 1,500m runner is still quite low even though I am slightly older.
“I raced 800m events right up until last year and I maybe did one 1,500m per season.
“I did a full indoors at 1,500m at four races, and I am going to stay at that distance right up to the Olympic trials.”
Derek Hawkins is also a member of Kilbarchan AAC and he will contest the 10,000m.
‘Habbie’ Hawkins was at the centre of controversy last month when he feared he missed out on his Olympic dream by just one second.
The Scottish Cross Country champion geared his season around securing a place at the AVIVA Olympic trials in Birmingham.
However, his bid to notch up what he thought was the 10,000m qualifying time took a stumble when he missed out by the narrowest of margins at the Bupa Great Manchester 10k event.
Elderslie-based Hawkins recorded a time of 29mins 41secs as he finished as the third Briton home and in 13th place overall.
But this was one second short of the mark quoted to him by UK Athletics bosses.
That left the 23-year-old fearing that his Olympic hopes were over.
However, UK Athletics chiefs subsequently confirmed the time he was told to aim for was only a ‘guide’ – and they granted him a starting slot in Birmingham.
He said: “My whole season has been geared up to qualifying for the 10,000m at the trials.
“I’m just so relieved that I won’t have to change my plans now.”
Alison Rodger, another member of Kilbarchan, will take part in the women’s shot put, while club-mate Holly Belch will aim to impress in the 400m women’s hurdles.
Paisley’s Lennie Waite moved to America on a soccer scholarship but now the talented Buddie is a world leader in women’s steeplechase.
Earlier this year the Scottish athlete, a PhD student at the University of Houston, in Texas, ran a personal best time of 9mins 48.35secs while winning the 3000m steeplechase during the Stanford Invitational event in California.
That took Lennie, 25, into second place in the Scottish all-time list for the event.
And her USA run was the best time in the world in 2012 by any female athlete.
Lennie is determined to earn her place at the London Olympics this weekend.
She said: “I was born in Scotland, so I am trying to make the Great Britain team.”
Another local athlete hoping to do well is Barrhead high jumper David Smith.
Standing six foot two inches tall, Smith is not exactly small but in high jump terms, he is dwarfed by some of his competitors.
It has not, however, prevented the 20-year-old from continued success during his school days and now at university and under-23 level.
David, who is a Sport and Physical Activity student at the University of Strathclyde, said: “Many high jumpers are clearing just under eight foot and I’m still one of the smaller guys.
“For me, it’s all about trying to be as tall as I can be when I take off rather than going too low, which is a fundamental error.
“I really enjoy the thrill of the fact that one minute you can look finished, then the next you clear the bar and you are back in with a medal chance.”
Smith has chosen to study part-time in his third year, spreading the workload over two years in order to give everything towards his ultimate goal of competing at an Olympic Games.
He revealed: “Each year I’ve seen a sharp rise in the height I am jumping so, hopefully, I can continue to progress.”
And the list goes on with Bishopton girl Hazel Ross, a former member of Kilbarchan AAC, now with Victoria Park, contesting the 100m hurdles.
The Aviva 2012 Trials will be broadcast live on the BBC on Saturday from 4.45pm and on Sunday from 5pm.