Doyle will speak from the heart

Athletics Weekly - - Start -


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.”

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