A RISING star with Pitreavie AAC is hoping that competing in the Commonwealth Youth Games can provide the springboard to senior Scottish representation.

Caleb McLeod, who is from Dalgety Bay, is in Trinidad and Tobago to race for Team Scotland at the 2023 event, which began last Friday and closes tomorrow (Friday).

The 17-year-old competed in the semi-finals of the men's 800 metres yesterday (Wednesday), progressing to run in the final today (Thursday).

He has been joined at the Games by Fife AC's 3,000m runner Reiss Marshall, who is a training partner within a group led by Steve Doig, who coaches West Fife T20 1500m Paralympic champion, Owen Miller.

For both athletes, being selected to race at the Commonwealth Youth Games - which previously has seen stars such as Lynsey Sharp, boxers Charlie Flynn and Josh Taylor, and badminton player, Kirsty Gilmour, compete - it is the pinnacle of their athletics career so far.

Although uncertainty surrounds the future of the senior Commonwealth Games, after the hosts for the 2026 edition, and the only confirmed bidder for 2030, withdrew, Caleb hopes he can be part of it after experiencing 'Trinbago 2023'.

"That's always the aim but this is a nice building block to get there because this is, on the whole, a relatively new event that they've put on," he told Press Sport ahead of the Games.

"It's really nice to have this opportunity as well because, before, we wouldn't get these opportunities to being racing in front of a crowd against other people from other countries. Just to be on that sort of stage is a good experience and will help us later on."

Reiss, 16, commented: "I think they were saying that a quarter of the athletes that go there eventually go into the senior Commonwealth Games, so at least knowing we're on the right track, and just having that first-hand experience of a multi-sport competition is good for us both."

The pair were pleased to have each other's company for the competition, for which Team Scotland selected 49 athletes, eight of whom for track and field events.

"With me and Reiss, we're both going from the same training group, so it's quite good we'll have each other there as well," Caleb continued.

"Just from that standpoint, we'll be able to cheer each other on. It's definitely going to be better to be going with someone you know and you train with, instead of going to something where you don't know anyone.

"I've had a good year this year. Coming off the back of last year, I had an injury, I managed to get over that and, by the end of last year, I was starting to get into things.

"This year's went quite well for me so far, so I'm hoping to try and get one more big race in before the end of the end of the season."