EILIDH Doyle was applauded for the pre-World Championships speech she made to her British team-mates but with the pursuit of medals having stalled since Mo Farah’s epic opening night victory in a bruising 10,000 metres she stepped up again as the event headed towards the halfway mark to defend their performance.

The collective target, set as part of the £27.1 million funding package granted to British Athletics by UK Sport and the envy of most other sports, is six to eight medals. In a championships in which the gold medals in particular have been very evenly distributed, with 13 different countries having shared the 15 won so far – only the USA and Kenya have won two – that gold won by Farah was the solitary medal of any colour won by the home team going into the fifth day of action in the 10 day schedule.

Farah looks certain to medal again in the 5000 metres which gets underway tonight, with Dunblane’s Andy Butchart potentially capable of challenging for another, while Laura Muir could bounce back from her disappointment in the 1500 metres on Monday night to win a medal if she decides she has recovered in time to contest the 5000 metres, with the women’s event getting underway tomorrow. Sprinters Dina Asher-Smith, Nathaneel Mitchell-Blake and Danny Talbot all have chances in their respective 200 metre races, while at the other end of the pace spectrum Tom Bosworth is tipped to go close in the 20 kilometre walk, while there is every prospect of relay medals being collected. Even so there has to be some concern that after all the success of recent years, dating back to the Olympic in the same stadium five years ago, this could be a turning point in the wrong direction.

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Now into her 30s and very much one of the senior figures in the camp Doyle was adamant that there remains a strong belief within the group as a whole that they will come through and generate the type of success the British public has become used to.

“The mood is positive,” she said. “Obviously Mo set it up on the first night. Although we’ve not got medals, you’ve got people like Callum [Hawkins] finishing fourth [in the marathon], Reece [Prescod] making the final of a men’s 100m in his first championship, Kyle Langford who smashed it to make the 800m final.

“We’re not quite making it onto the podium as yet but that’s the future you’re seeing out there.”

Doyle can draw extra confidence in that regard from being a product of the Scottish Athletics programme that has begun to generate some fine results after sustained efforts to build from its grassroots, resulting in a record 16 Scots taking part in this World Championships, more than twice as many as have ever been sent from north of the border previously. Doyle has previously described herself as the ‘mother hen’ of the team and her pride in her original brood is by no means confined to Hawkins.

Doyle’s own championship campaign got underway on Monday night just a couple of hours before Laura Muir suffered her agonising near miss in her bid for a first major outdoor championship and her captain took the opportunity to spell out just how the unassuming 24-year-old who has combined becoming a world class athletes with the small matter of studying to become a vet, is regarded by her peers.

“Laura is one of those runners that the whole team admire,” she said. “Everybody says she is one of their favourites because she is so gutsy.

“In the team hotel she is so quiet and inconspicuous, almost timid, then you see her on the track and she is a completely different person.

“She is fierce. She is a warrior,” Doyle added.

“I think she’s brilliant, she’s my absolute favourite and I’ll be proud of her whatever she does.”