BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Scotland’s Eilish McColgan followed in her mother’s footsteps when she won the Commonwealth Games 10,000m title in gritty style on Wednesday, battling past Kenyan Irene Cheptai for an emotional victory in a Games record time.
Liz McColgan won the same title in 1986 and 1990 – as well as the world title in 1991 – and Eilish has now written her own script after a series of big-event near-misses.
She set a strong early pace on Wednesday and was eventually left alone with Cheptai for the final four laps before gritting her teeth to surge clear over the last 150 metres and win in 30 minutes 48.60 seconds.
Kenya’s Sheila Kiprotich took a brave bronze after appearing to suffer an injury with more than a mile to go but limping on to finish clear of Uganda’s defending champion Stella Chesang.
McColgan struggled in last month’s world championships following a bout of illness but arrived in Birmingham finally fully fit.
“It’s just been such an up and down year with COVID, another illness and a couple of other niggles,” she said.
“Having my family here was great and the crowd on the last 200m it was vibrating through my body. I have never sprinted like that in my life and without the crowd I could never have done that.
“This is my third Commonwealth Games and my fourth (different) event so I finally found an event. I came sixth every time so to win it tonight was so special. You could see I wanted gold.”
Mother Liz added: “To witness your daughter win in the same event is incredible – she just ran the race I knew she was capable of running.”
Hot favourite Katarina Johnson-Thompson of England retained the heptathlon title ahead Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor and England’s Jane O’Dowda.
The women’s and men’s 100 metres finals are being held later on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Mitch Phillips, editing by Pritha Sarkar)