Photo by Bobby Gavin
Double Olympian and multiple championship medallist Eilidh Doyle has today announced her retirement from competitive athletics.
Scotland’s most decorated able-bodied track and field athlete started her career fully 25 years ago as an enthusiastic youngster with Pitreavie AAC.
Eilidh never lost that love for the sport as she reached global heights with Team Scotland and with GB and NI to land an amazing 17 major international medals.
She won silver in the 400m Hurdles in three consecutive Commonwealth Games – the last coming in Australia when she had the honour as Team Scotland flag-bearer for Gold Coast 2018.
With GB and NI, there were European medals aplenty – indoors and out – including being European champion at 400m hurdles in Zurich in 2014, as well as relay representation.
Highly respected by team-mates and rivals alike, she was also British team captain for London 2017 as well as competing in the Olympics at London 2012 and Rio in 2016, where she won 4x400m bronze.
Eilidh is currently the Scottish National Record holder for the 400m Hurdles (54.09 in Monaco in July 2016) and also as part of the Women’s 4x400m Relay team (from Gold Coast 2018). She also holds the Scottish National Indoor Record for 400m (51.45 in Gothenburg in February 2013) and also as part of Women’s Indoor 4x400m (Glasgow in January 2014).
Now, at 34, mum Eilidh is resolved to spend more time with husband Brian and young son Campbell while also looking to explore her next move in the sport.
Eilidh is already a Board member of scottishathletics and a Trustee with Athletics Trust Scotland. She also recently was named as an Ambassador for the Daily Mile in Scotland.
Eilidh crosses the line to land Women’s 4x400m silver for GB and NI at Glasgow 2019 (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Here’s the statement issued today by Eilidh:
‘I remember so clearly being nine years old and joining Pitreavie AAC as a bit of fun,’ she said.
‘Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined where the sport would take me over the next 25 years. Not all of it has been easy but my love for athletics has always been constant and still remains so to this day.
‘Athletics has all my heart, focus and love but today I announce my retirement as a competitive athlete.
I take with me so many amazing memories but, most importantly, I step away happy in the knowledge that this is the right time for me to go. I’m not saying it was an easy decision to make, but it was the right one and I am grateful I got to choose when it happened.
‘The sport has brought me so much more than just medals. I have made lifelong friends, experienced incredible atmospheres, made history and even met my husband because of it.
‘Now we have our wee boy, Campbell, and so much more to look forward to as a family.
‘I do find it fitting, however, that my last international competition was winning a silver medal in front of a home crowd in Glasgow (at the European Indoors at the Emirates Arena).
Eilidh was the Team Scotland official ‘flag-bearer’ at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (photo via Team Scotland)
‘Athletics will always hold a special place in my heart and now I get to enjoy it from the other side as a fan.
‘I have so many people I need to thank, who have been part of my journey, and over the next couple of weeks I hope to be able to thank you all personally.
‘To everyone who has supported me and cheered me on over the years, I am so grateful to you all.
I would like to give special thanks however to those who were there at the very beginning and introduced me to the sport I love; my mum, my dad, my big sisters and my big brother.
‘Finally, I say thank you to Brian, not only for being my coach, my soft tissue therapist, for looking after the dog when I was travelling the world and, more recently, for looking after Campbell to let me train; but for being my supporter, challenger and for showing me how easy it was to pursue my dreams.
‘What an adventure it has been and now I look forward to the next one, whatever it may be.’
Eilidh on the podium at Glasgow 2014 (photo by Bobby Gavin)
Eilidh on the podium at Gold Coast 2018 (photo by Bobby Gavin)