AYRSHIRE’S Jemma Reekie is keeping her head held high despite missing out on a place in the 800 metres final at the World Athletics Championships.

The Beith athlete, who still has the Commonwealth Games to look forward to, failed to qualify from her semi-final at the championships in Oregon.

The 24-year-old secured her place in the Team GB squad back in June after becoming the UK’s 800m champion.

She made her way though her heat earlier in the week, cruising into the semi-final on Saturday, July 23.

But Reekie could only manage a fifth-place finish – and her last hopes of a place in the final were dashed when she failed to make it through as one of the fastest losers, with only two of her semi-final rivals making it through to Sunday’s final.

Reekie’s time for her semi-final was nearly three seconds slower than the one she posted at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she finished in fourth place, and was agonisingly close to taking home a bronze medal.

The Garnock Valley girl remains upbeat, though admitted “it’s been a tough old year with a lot of heartbreak”.

Reekie, who runs for Kilbarchan AAC, only recently recovered from a bout of glandular fever that disrupted the early part of her outdoor season, and says she knows it will take time for her to get back to her best – “but time is key”.

Reacting on social media, she added: “I’m a tough cookie and I’m still determined to make the rest of my season better.

“(I’m) excited to focus at Commonwealths now and hopefully go out there and perform.”

Reekie is the only Ayrshire athlete in Scotland’s track and field team for the Games in Birmingham, which begin this Thursday, July 28.

She’ll be competing in the 800m and 1,500m events in her quest to bring at least one medal home to Ayrshire from her first Commonwealth Games.

There is plenty of support from back home too, with fans rallying round after her World Championship disappointment.

One fan said: “You put yourself out there Jemma and gave it your all. Best of luck in the Commonwealth Games, we are all rooting for you.”

And another supporter added that she loved seeing Jemma “pounding the streets in Beith”.