Kilbarchan Athletics Club athlete Jemma Reekie has been named as a finalist for the Sunday Mail and sportscotland Young Sports Personality of the Year Award after a landmark year for the teenage runner.

The 19-year-old made a spectacular breakthrough onto the international scene in 2017 and was crowned a European champion less than a month after a bad bout of asthma left her hospitalised for four days.

She won two medals at the European Indoor Championships in January before topping the podium again with a win in the 1500m at the European Under-20 Championships in July in Italy, an event she seemed extremely unlikely to even qualify for after taking ill.

She said: “I went to altitude training in May and ended up in hospital in June. Two weeks before the European trials I was lying in a hospital bed, I was terrified I wouldn’t make it.

“I was in hospital for four days, it felt like forever. It makes it all the better when I know I didn’t have it easy, I never had any consistent training in the lead up to the event and I was still able to go out and perform.”

The award ceremony next month will recognise inspirational clubs, schools and individuals in sport, from across the country.

Reekie, who trains alongside European indoor senior champion Laura Muir, has been shortlisted for the top youth prize alongside swimmer Scott McLay and canoeist Ieuan James.

But despite making a remarkable recovery to win in Italy and enjoying a season in which she set personal best times at every distance from 800m to 3000m, the runner admitted she was still stunned to learn of her nomination.

And she credited Kilbarchan AAC, the club who also helped runners Callum and Derek Hawkins, with giving her the platform to become one of the most promising young athletes in the country.

Reekie explained: “It was a big surprise to be nominated. I haven’t really had the chance to think about any of the awards because the season has been so hectic. But it was a really nice surprise.

“I was saying to my mum the other day that it is crazy how much I’ve achieved this year.

“Kilbarchan were such a big help. I think that is why I’ve ended up sticking in at it. They just made it fun, if you went along and something was wrong they didn’t make you train. They were so chilled out and didn’t push us.

“The sessions were good and the coaches there were so committed.”

The teenage star now has her sights set on the ambitious target laid down by her coach Andy Young of qualifying for the senior European Championships.

The athlete added: “I was talking about next year with Andy. The targets he’s setting for me are actually quite scary. I never thought I’d be aiming for things like that next year.

“We think I could’ve run a bit faster last year, I just wasn’t in the right races and my asthma threw me off for so long. For about a month after I was in hospital I wasn’t allowed to run hard in training at all, I was just keeping fit.

“Andy thinks I can be competing with the seniors next year. One of the aims is the European outdoors next year. It’ll be really hard to get the standard but it’ll be huge if I can do it and I’m going to give it everything.”

The 2017 Sunday Mail sportscotland Scottish Sports Awards will be held on December 7 at the Doubletree by Hilton in Glasgow. For more information about the awards visit http://www.sundaymailsportsawards.co.uk/