Thursday, 14 July 2016
Evergreen distance runner Jo Pavey will become the first British track athlete to compete in five Olympics after she was selected in the team for Rio on Wednesday.
The 42-year-old, mother of two, will run in the 10,000 metres, having been preferred to 24-year-old Kate Avery, after meeting the qualifying time at the European Championships last week.
Her time, only good enough for fifth spot in the final, was an astonishing 37 seconds faster than her younger rival had managed this year.
“So happy to be selected for my fifth Olympic Games,” tweeted Pavey, whose first Games was Sydney in 2000 but has never medalled.
Pavey will be joined on the plane by stars who know what it is like to win medals at the Olympics including the trio from the ‘Super Saturday’ of London 2012, Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford.
In all, Britain won six medals in the track and field events in London and warmed up for next month’s sporting extravaganza with five golds in a 16-medal haul at last week’s European Championships in Amsterdam.
“I’m very excited by this group of athletes and what I think we can achieve in Rio,” said British Athletics performance director Neil Black.
“This is the best prepared and arguably strongest team we have ever selected.
“We believe the world class level of performances this group can achieve will see us challenging for a number of places on the podium.”
Ennis-Hill will defend her heptathlon title just two years after giving birth to her son Reggie.
“Everything’s coming together now and I’m feeling good,” sad Ennis-Hill.
“Training over the past few weeks has been going really well and it’s been good to be back in the competitive environment recently.
“There’s still some time left before Rio to put some work in as well.
“London was an incredible experience and the two journeys to London and Rio have been completely different, which I’ve really enjoyed.
“If I was able to defend my title in Rio it will certainly be one of my greatest achievements.”
Source by: AFP