Jo Pavey will become the first British track athlete to compete in five Olympics, after being selected to represent Team GB at the Rio Olympics.
The mother-of-two threw everything she had at the chance to be selected at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam last week, running a season’s best of 31mins 34secs in the 10,000m event to make the qualifying time.
Selectors chose Pavey, 42, over 24-year-old rival Kate Avery, whose qualifying time in Amsterdam trumped Avery’s current best by 37 seconds.
Also pipped to the post was Anyika Onuora, who lost out on a 400m spot to Christine Ohuruogu, despite beating her to a gold medal at the European Championships last week.
Causing more controversy among the 80-strong GB team was the selectors’ decision not to fill the final women’s 800m position with Alison Leonard, who has run the qualifying time six times during the selection period.
Predictably, London 2012 champions Jessica Ennis-Hill, Mo Farah and Greg Rutherford were all included in the team, alongside Olympic Games first-timer Dina-Asher-Smith. The 20-year-old will make her Olympic debut competing in the 200m and 4 x 100m relay events.
When Pavey competed in her first Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000, little did she think she would be competing six years on. She said to The Telegraph:
“I’m absolutely thrilled. When you’re a young girl dreaming of going to the Olympics, you never think you could be going to five.
“Standing on that start line and looking up at the flame is really emotional.
“Never in my wildest dreams a few years back did I think I would be competing at the Olympics at my age.”
Chances looked slim for Pavey this spring, after a nasty chest infection left her at the bottom of her game, but her determination in Amsterdam paid off – and will now see her making Olympic history in Rio this year.
Joining Pavey on the female GB Olympic quad will be the following athletes:
|100m||Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Daryll Neita|
|200m||Dina Asher-Smith, Jodie Williams|
|400m||Christine Ohuruogu, Emily Diamond, Seren Bundy-Davies|
|800m||Lynsey Sharp, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke|
|1,500m||Laura Muir, Laura Weightman|
|5,000m||Eilish McColgan, Stephanie Twell, Laura Whittle|
|10,000m||Jo Pavey, Beth Potter, Jessica Andrews|
|3,000m steeplechase||Lennie Waite|
|100m hurdles||Tiffany Porter, Cindy Ofili|
|400m hurdles||Eilidh Doyle|
|High Jump||Morgan Lake|
|Pole Vault||Holly Bradshaw|
|Long Jump||Lorraine Ugen, Shara Proctor, Jazmin Sawyers|
|Discus Throw||Jade Lally|
|Hammer Throw||Sophie Hitchon|
|Heptathlon||Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Jessica Ennis-Hill|
|Marathon||Sonia Samuels, Alyson Dixon|
|4x100m relay||Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Daryll Neita, Dina Asher-Smith, Bianca Williams, Ashleigh Nelson, Louise Bloor|
|4x400m relay||Christine Ohuruogu, Emily Diamond, Seren Bundy-Davies, Eilidh Doyle, Anyika Onuora, Margaret Adeoye, Kelly Massey|