DAVID Bishop strengthened his claim for a place in the Scotland team for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow with an excellent run in America over the weekend, writes Kevin Fahey.

The 27-year-old Chippenham runner clocked a season’s best of 3mins 39.27secs for the 1500m at the USATF High Performance Distance Classic meeting in Los Angeles.

That put Bishop sixth on the UK rankings for 2014 and was crucially well inside the qualifying standard of 3mins 42ses set by the Scotland selectors.

On top of his 3:38.7 from last year itmeans Bishop has also fulfilled the Scotland selectors criteria of running inside the qualifying at least twice in the past 12 months so is in a great position to be picked for Glasgow.

“The deadline to run the qualifying time was set at June 8 by the Scotland selectors so it was important for Dave to get that done,” said his coach James Thie.

“And it wasn’t like he did just 3:41.8 or something – he was well inside. Now that doesn’t guarantee his selection as there is still time for others to run that but I can’t see too many other runners from Scotland running that sort of time.

“I have already talked to the selectors and I think it has put Dave in the box seat for selection.”

The former Hardenshuish School student has had a difficult winter and injury problems meant he didn’t race indoors as he had originally planned.

He didn’t open his season until recently with a low key 3mins 44secs in Palo Alto but his training has come on impressively since then and, speaking from his base in Albuquerque, Bishop said he felt he was now getting back into decent shape.

“Yeah I was really pleased with the time as it has obviously been a tough build up since November with the niggles I have had,” said Bishop.

“I was really happy with the official 3:39.27 but once the relief that my two Commonwealth standards were out the way I was a little disappointed as this would have been a fantastic race for me to get a personal best – and I was beaten by three Brits as well.

“Still, after only a few decent weeks of injury free training I seem to be in pretty decent shape, and with some more training I imagine I will only get faster!”

Bishop plans to return to Wiltshire early next month to prepare for the British Championships and improve that personal best.