INVERCLYDE Athletic Club's Jonny Glen has set his sights on a place in the Commonwealth Games after being selected to join Scotland's elite group of marathon runners.

The Greenock athlete was chosen by Scottish Athletics' Marathon Project last week.

Inverclyde AC are represented by Jonny and fellow IAC team-mates Adam Craig, Sean Fontana and Craig Ruddy.

The programme, led by renowned coach Robert Hawkins, aims to bolster the standard of Scotland's long-distance running team ahead of the Birmingham Games in 2022.

Jonny told the Tele: "It's a great opportunity for me to progress my career forward. My strengths have always lay in the long distance.

"Being given an opportunity like this to progress is great.

"I've been seen as a potential asset to the project after posting some decent times over five and 10k.

"To be given the opportunity is really good, especially with the calibre of the group including Callum Hawkins and my team-mate Adam Craig. Scotland has a strong marathon group.

"Obviously it is for my benefit but seeing Team Scotland progress at distance running, or mid-distance at the moment, is a huge deal."

The Team Scotland qualifying standard has been set as 2:15.12 for men.

It's likely three spots will be available in the men's marathon squad for Birmingham and Jonny is confident he has what it takes to qualify.

He said: "For me when I have my mind set on a goal nothing's going to change that. Without sounding over confident, I believe I will go to the Commonwealth Games as I can achieve the time by well inside the target.

"I don't think it will be enough just to hit the time because of the talent Scotland has. It won't be enough to run under two hours, 15 minutes, which is the standard.

"I think it will need to be somewhere around 2.13, but that is more than achievable.

"All that matters is proving to myself what I know I'm capable of and that's going to the Commonwealth Games and performing well there, not just qualifying for them."

Jonny believes that it's a tribute to IAC's coaches that four runners from the club have been selected for the elite group.

The former Inverclyde Academy pupil said: "It's a great testament to the club. Inverclyde is a very small club but they've done well. The coaches are the most dedicated of anyone I know. Even during this lockdown they put in a tremendous amount of effort to keep the kids active.

"My coach, as well as other coaches, have been keeping tabs on how we're progressing through it.

"The recent lockdown has allowed people to be a bit more dedicated as they have a bit more time on their hands. It's let people introduce themselves to running as well.

"The coaching has been great. It's a small club and it's great to be part of this massive project as well as having younger athletes coming through which is brilliant for the future."