This time last year Jemma Reekie was best known simply as Laura Muir’s young training partner - a perennial shadow chasing Britain’s biggest middle-distance star. No longer.
After a year that began with her setting national indoor records over 800 metres, 1,500m and one mile in February, Reekie rounded it off in eye-catching style with another high-profile 800m triumph at the Rome Diamond League on Thursday night.
That Muir was only able to finish third added to the sense of a changing of the guard in what will be one of the most fascinating storylines in British athletics leading into the Olympics.
Training partners under the guidance of coach Andy Young, the hierarchy was established long ago between the two, with Reekie, 22, habitually shunted to the back seat in cars and deferring to Muir, 27, over bed choices at camps. Yet for all that their rivalry looks likely to mirror that of Seb Coe and Steve Ovett, there is no hint of the animosity that prevailed during that domestic dust-up which played out in global finals four decades ago.
Indeed, when coronavirus lockdown was implemented, Reekie even moved into Muir’s Glasgow home to avoid having to train alone.
“Having her grow up alongside me, nothing really daunts her,” Muir told Telegraph Sport last month. “She just goes for it. It’s great to see. Trust me, she will have no fear.”
Reekie’s performances over this shortened season have proven that prediction correct. A painfully slow opening lap in Rome saw the entire field ignore the pacemaker, before Muir seized the race with 300m remaining.
More accomplished over 1500m than two-lap races, Muir knew she would have to run the sprint finish out of her rivals, but was unable to stop both Reekie and Norway’s Hedda Hynne searing past as they entered the home straight.
In spite of the slow start, Reekie stretched clear to win in one minute 59.76 seconds - her seventh sub-2min clocking in seven months, having never done so prior to this year.
Hynne held on for second, with Muir’s five-race winning streak - which included the fastest 1,500m time in the world this year - coming to an end in third.
While some athletes opted not to compete this summer amid ongoing coronavirus uncertainty, others have ploughed furrows in the quest to become the new face of the sport.
Having cleared an outright 6.18m pole vault world record indoors earlier this year in Glasgow, Sweden’s Armand Duplantis, 20, added the unofficial outdoor world record to an already bulging haul of accomplishments by going over 6.15m in Rome.
Already a double world 400m hurdles champion aged 24, Karsten Warholm produced yet another demolition of the field, running 47.07sec to extend his winning streak to 19.
Uganda’s Jacob Kiplimo won the battle of the precocious 19-year-olds with a thrilling 3,000m victory, getting up to pass Norwegian Jakob Ingebrigtsen in the final few strides, with both men running quicker than any athlete since 2007.
Britain had one other winner in Rome with Italian-based Andrew Pozzi continuing the impressive consistency that had seen him finish outside the top two just once in 15 races this year, claiming a fine 110m hurdles victory in 13.15sec - just 0.01sec outside his personal best.