THE lead coach of two rising athletics stars has high hopes that they can enjoy a memorable Commonwealth Youth Games.

Steve Doig believes that if Caleb McLeod and Reiss Marshall can replicate the form they have shown prior to the competition, then they have a chance of challenging for podium places.

The pair, members of Pitreavie AAC and Fife AC, are part of a 49-strong Team Scotland squad that are competing at the seventh edition of the Games in Trinidad and Tobago, which began last Friday.

Caleb and Reiss are part of a training group led by Steve, who also coaches West Fife T20 1500 metres Paralympic champion, Owen Miller, and Ben Sandilands, who last month won the World Para Athletics Championship title in the same discipline.

Dunfermline Press: Reiss Marshall (left) and Caleb McLeod (right) are part of the Team Scotland squad at the Commonwealth Youth Games.Reiss Marshall (left) and Caleb McLeod (right) are part of the Team Scotland squad at the Commonwealth Youth Games. (Image: David Wardle.)

Dalgety Bay star Caleb has enjoyed a strong year so far, which has included winning gold medals at the 4J Studios scottishathletics National Indoor Under-13, Under-15 and Under-20 Championships, and the Scottish Schools Secondary Track and Field Championships (outdoor), over the 800m distance he will compete in, the semi-finals of which take place today (Wednesday).

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Reiss will run in the 3,000m tomorrow (Thursday) and, speaking ahead of the duo departing for the Games, Steve commented: “It’s going to be very hot, so it’s going to be tough on the endurance athletes. It’s not so bad for the sprinters.

“I think Caleb will be fine, because 800 is so short. The 3k, which is what Reiss is doing, that’s difficult. They’re hoping to get a little bit of acclimatisation work in the heat chamber before they go.

“If they can just match what they’ve done here, they’ll do well.”

Athletes, aged between 14-18, will represent Scotland in all seven sports on the 2023 ‘Trinbago’ programme which, in addition to athletics, includes beach volleyball, cycling, netball, rugby sevens, swimming and triathlon.

More than 1,000 athletes from the 72 nations and territories of the Commonwealth are set to take part, but Steve revealed that, due to the number of places available to Team Scotland in track and field - they have eight competitors in athletics in total - some who hit qualifying standards didn’t make the squad.

He added: “There’s disappointment as well as excitement, but I guess that’s sport.

“Hopefully it just makes you stronger if you have that disappointment.”