I have watched Eilish McColgan race at various distances. One of my favorites was the 10,000m at the Payton Jordan in Palo Alto, California. Eilish was running a 25 lapper for one of the first times, and she came flying by many over that last 1000m.
So happy to see Eilish make the team, and hope she can get the family record. Wrote about her mom in 1991.
Thanks to Stuart Weir on this one, I woke up quite early to post before my drive back to San Jose, California.
MÃœLLER BRITISH ATHLETICS 10,000M CHAMPIONSHIPS & EUROPEAN ATHLETICS 10,000M CUP 2021
The GB Championships and Olympic selection trials take place in Manchester 25-27 June for all events except the Marathons and Race-walks which have already been held and the 10,000m which took place on 5 June. The event incorporated the European Athletics 10,000m Cup, based on the combined times for 3 athletes.
For British athletes the task was simple. Automatic Olympic selection would be achieved by any athlete finishing in the top two places, who achieved the Olympic qualifying on the night or already had the standard. A third place was available at the discretion of the selectors.
Pacemakers, Alison Cash and Michelle Finn led the race aiming at a time 5 seconds below the Olympic standard. When they dropped out, Selamawit Teferi of Israel took the lead and opened up a significant gap. Four British athletes were running together behind her, Verity Ockenden, Eilish McColgan, Jess Judd, and Amy-Eloise Markovic. Only McColgan of the four had the Olympic standard. Gradually four became two with the two European Indoor medalists at 3000m from earlier this year dropping back. With two laps to go McColgan and Judd made their move. With perfect timing McColgan passed Teferi just before the line. While Jess Judd finished third, she was the second Briton and fractionally inside the Olympic standard, with a 66 second last lap.
The final results were
1 Eilish McColgan 31:19.35
2 Selemawit Teferi 31.19.50
3 Jess Judd 31:20.96
4 Verity Ockenden 31:43.70
5 Amy-Eloise Markovc 32:04.38
One of Ockenden and Markovc could still make the team if they achieve the standard this month and they have also a chance to compete for a place at 5000m.
For those with a sense of history, Eilish McColgan will be competing over 10,000m in Tokyo 30 years after her mother (Liz) won the world championship in that city at the same distance.
Eilish said afterward: “I am absolutely buzzing. There is a lot of pressure coming into any championship is especially when a place in the Olympic Games is at stake. I already had the qualifying time so that was one box ticked so I knew I just had to come in the first two. To win the race on top of that, I couldn’t have asked for any more. I’ve had a lot of injuries over the years, so to make a third Olympic Games is beyond my wildest dreams. When I started running at 11 years old, I would never think I could have made three Olympics – and all at different events. I started with the steeplechase and moved to 5K but now I feel I found a distance that I really love. I’m proud of myself for keeping going during the difficult years. I’d love to break my mom’s Scottish record – the family record too – of 30:57”.
On her tactics, she said her mother’s words ringing in her ears: “She said don’t leave it to the last lap because you don’t want to miss out and it turns into a 400m race rather than a 10,000m. I did have that in the back of my mind so I just kept reminding myself to keep calm over the last couple of laps because training is going better than ever and then there’s a lot of pressure coming into this because when you are training so well. You have one opportunity to try and knit it together on the day so I suppose there was a part of me that was like ‘don’t mess this up'”.
Jess Judd tweeted: “I was 17 when 2012 came around and missed out on that Olympics. I tore my hamstring in 2016 and missed Rio, I was slower than in 2012! In 2021 I will be going to Tokyo. Never give up, and never doubt yourself! The bad times make the good times so much better!”
I a great night for two athletes who have worked so hard to achieve their dreams.
Team GB also topped the team standings, with Italy taking silver and Poland bronze.