It says much about Zoey Clark’s progress over the past two years that she was disappointed to miss out on a spot in the final of the 400m at the Commonwealth Games in April.

The 23-year-old, who was one of the Sunday Herald’s ‘6 to Follow' in the lead-up to the Games, has transformed herself from someone who was practically unknown to one of Scotland’s most promising runners.

And so while her semi-final exit in Gold Coast was not the result she wanted, with the benefit of hindsight, she is able to appreciate just how far she has come.

“I’ve got mixed emotions about Gold Coast," she says. "Looking back at it, I think I did perform well and I was within a fraction of my personal best. But it’s bitter-sweet because I’m a little bit disappointed not to have made the final of the individual.

"I think it’s a good thing that I feel like that though because it shows how much I’ve moved on. At Glasgow 2014, I wasn’t even in the individual event, I was only in the relay whereas now, I’ve obviously progressed because I was in a relay final, we got a national record and an individual semi-final. That's massive progress; I’m really happy and proud of that and I think it bodes well for the future.”

Clark may have made her Commonwealth Games debut four years ago in Glasgow but it is only recently that she has begun to feel at home on the global stage. Picking up World and European Indoor Championship relay medals in the past year has helped her confidence and she admits that when she compares her mentality these days to that of the teenager who competed at Glasgow 2014, she is almost unrecognisable.

“It weird that I’m experienced now because this time last year, I really wasn’t at all," she said. "I feel good about major championships now. I felt really relaxed in the lead-up to Gold Coast and I knew exactly what I had to do.

"I’m definitely still learning though and these championships all count towards my experience. Just because you’ve done something once doesn’t mean that you can necessarily do it again so the more opportunities I get to practice and rehearse these things, the better.”

With the Commonwealth Games coming so early in the outdoor season for Scotland’s track and field athletes, Clark says planning her training schedule has been tricky. A well-earned break was pencilled in after Gold Coast and almost two months away from the competitive arena saw the Aberdeen-based runner only reappear last weekend, at the European Champion Clubs Cup in Birmingham, where she won her heat in a solid 52.76 seconds.

It is from here that things begin to really heat up, with the British Championships at the end of June in Birmingham and which double-up as the selection meet for August’s European Championships the next major goal.

"I’ve already got the time to be selected for the Europeans, but I’ll need to finish in the top two at the British trials," she said. "But because those events are later on in the season, I’m taking a less is more approach for the next month or two and I’m not doing too many races at this part of the season."

Clark’s rise to the top ensures that she goes into this summer with considerably more expectation upon her shoulders but she she is unperturbed by the increased pressure, although she admits that learning to take things in her stride in this manner has taken some time .

“I’m feeling quite relaxed," she said. "When you start worrying about what other people are thinking then that’s when it starts to get into your head so I try not to do that.

"In my normal life, I’m not really a laid-back person. I’m usually quite a stressed-out, on-edge person but with athletics, I think I’ve learned that it’s much better for me to take a more casual, laid-back approach to things or otherwise, I over-think everything and end up not enjoying the sport as much, so I think I've found the best approach for me.”