THE Olympic dream has died for a host of disappointed Renfrewshire athletes.
Seven local competitors entered the Aviva Olympic Trials staged at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium over the weekend ... with places at the Games up for grabs.
But only five turned up and those who did make it to the starting line saw their London 2012 hopes dashed.
Hopes were highest for former Commonwealth Games runner Claire Gibson as she took part in the women’s 1,500m.
But the Kilbarchan AAC starlet has only just moved from 800m and the step up proved to be a leap too far as she failed to make it past the heats.
Gibson finished fourth in her group with a time of four minutes and 24 seconds – a full 10 seconds behind her personal best.
However, despite failing to book a place on the plane to London, the 29-year-old’s coach Derek Parker still has faith that his prodigy will come good.
He said: “Claire has only really just taken up the 1,500m recently and is finding the transition from 800m a bit tough.
“Hopefully, with some more races and some extra training, she can get back to the type of form which won her a place at the Commonwealth Games back in 2010.”
Kilbarchan clubmate Derek Hawkins, meanwhile, had to reflect on a day of ups and downs after his men’s 10,000m final.
The 23-year-old notched up his personal best in the event, with a time of 30 mins 47 secs.
But that was still a full three mins and 45 secs behind race winner, 2008 Olympic champion and world-record holding Ethiopian Kenenisa Bekele Beyecha. And despite setting a new fastest time, Hawkins finished well down the order in 21st place from the 23-man field.
In the men’s high jump, Barrhead athlete David Smith had to settle for a fifth-place finish.
The 20-year-old – a sport and physical activity student at Strathclyde University – could muster a jump of only 2.12m, which was 10cm below his previous best mark.
But even a similar jump would not have been enough to trouble winner Robbie Grabarz, of Newham, who clinched his place in London with a leap of 2.28m.
Paisley’s Lennie Waite will also have to reflect on a performance well short of her best.
The University of Texas student was hoping to repeat her personal best of nine minutes and 48 seconds in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase – a mark she set in the States earlier this year.
But she came in at 10 mins and seven seconds to finish fourth, well behind Eilish McColgan – daughter of former world champion Scot Liz – whose final time was nine minutes and 56 secs.
In the women’s 100m hurdles, Bishopton’s Hazel Ross failed to escape the heats, finishing fourth in her group with a time of 14.43 secs.
And shot-putter Alison Rodger joined Holly Belch – who was due to run in the women’s 400m hurdles – by withdrawing from the event at the last minute.
However, Scots athletes did claim nine medals at the Olympic trials.
Alongside McColgan, Lynsey Sharp won gold in the women’s 800m, while Eilidh Child (women’s 400m hurdles), Mark Dry (men’s hammer), Gregor MacLean (men’s pole vault, joint) all won silver.
And bronze gongs were claimed by Lee McConnell (women’s 400m), Emily Stewart (women’s 3,000m steeplechase), Kirsty Law (women’s discus) and Chris O’Hare (men’s 1,500m).