Doyle will speak from the heart
BRITISH CAPTAIN PLANS AN EMOTIONAL ADDRESS
EILIDH DOYLE insists she will
‘talk from the heart’ when she addresses the British team of which she has been appointed captain for the IAAF World Championships in London, writes Euan Crumley.
The 30-year-old was both surprised and delighted to have come out top in the vote among her fellow team-mates to decide who would lead what is now an 81-strong home squad, the largest British side ever to go to a world championships.
But the Scot intends to embrace the role fully, even if she does admit to having a few nerves about making the traditional captain’s speech.
“I did it at the World Indoors in 2014,” says Doyle, who had expected the role to go to Sir Mo Farah, though she cast her own vote in favour of Steph Twell. “It’s a very daunting experience. You’re looking at people who you’ve admired and inspired you.
“But I’ll talk from the heart and openly and honestly like I always do. Hopefully I’ll draw from my experiences, especially from being at a home championships.
“We’re in London, we’ve got that element and we need to get fired up.
“Even watching the para athletes compete over the last few weeks, we’ve seen the boost you get from having the home support behind you. I remember it from London
2012 and Glasgow 2014 and hopefully that adds motivation to the rest of the team.”
On the track, Doyle will compete in both the 400m hurdles and the 4x400m, an event in which she has won World silver and bronze, not to mention Olympic bronze in Rio last summer. When it comes to her solo event, she knows she will have her work cut out but is relishing the challenge.
“I’m really happy with where I am at the moment,” says Doyle, now coached by her husband Brian following many years with the now retired Malcolm Arnold. “I’ve raced a lot, really put together some consistency and been high up in the positions, which is good because I’ll be facing a lot of these girls at the world championships.
“But I’m going to have to run every race like it’s the final. The hurdles are so stacked this year. You have all the Americans who smashed it at their trials and then the Europeans like Zuzana Hejnova and Sara Petersen, who is the Olympic silver medallist. Then the Jamaicans as well. It’s very stacked so if I want to make the final I’m going to have to give it everything. But I’m confident I can do that.”