Steph Twell at Birmingham Diamond League – photo by Mark Shearman
Steph Twell has revealed making the third trip of her career to Beijing for the World Championships in August would be the perfect way to celebrate her renewed physical prowess and mental strength.
The Delhi Commonwealth Games medallist for Scotland has so far achieved one standard for GB and NI selection in the 5000m with a good early-season run in America at 15.13.82.
Twell went within one second of another 15.20.00 standard in the Diamond League in Oslo on Thursday nigth and has explained she turned down a GB vest for the Euro Team Champs in Russia in order to focus fully on the 5000m at British Champs and World Trials in Birmingham early in July.
It is very much a case of ‘second time around’ for Steph following serious injuries which cost her a place at the London 2012 Olympics, impaired on her Commonwealth Games performance and arguably denied her a couple of European Championships and the 2013 World Champs, as well.
The 25-year-old originally went to Beijing for the World Juniors and she returned to the Chinese city for the 2008 Olympics as an 18-year-old.
Competing there again this summer would therefore in many ways complete the circle on her athletics journey.
Now, in a special blog post for scottishathletics, Steph says: ‘I would be so happy to make a GB team for Beijing. I would be so thrilled.
‘It would be a true testimony to my strength of character coming back I feel. It has really tested me over the past few seasons and what I have had to overcome – both in terms of the physical injuries and some of the mental disappointments and frustrations – has been hard. There’s no denying that.
‘But I feel now I have ‘grieved’ the injury long enough. I am moving forward now with my body the way it is and I want to come to the British trials and try and secure the 5000m place.
‘Athletics offers you chances and then, when you get there, you have to train even harder to do your best to perform.
‘I was so happy with that 5000m run in America – that was coming off the winter and a lot of hard work and it is a great feeling when that pays off. I have done the hard graft months ago and now it is coming together.
‘I’ve had to turn down a chance to run at the Euro Team Champs because I was in Oslo for the 5000m. Russia would have been another 5000m and then the trials in Birmingham are right after that.
So that would have been three in a very short period and that’s not the best plan looking forward. I’d love to have worn the GB vest in Cheboksary . . . but hopefully that is coming up again in Beijing.
‘I was there for the World Juniors Champs and there for the Olympics – so I know the stadium and the lie of the land.
‘I’m thinking a hat-trick would be really quite something but let’s wait and see what happens over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed.
Steph captained GB to team gold at Euro Cross 2014
‘Cross country has been so important for me – so helpful and beneficial for me.
‘I have always come back to that as my bread and butter, as the place where my own development began. I would recommend it heartily for young endurance athletes – make it a priority during the winter.
‘It is not all glamorous trying to run fast – you have to get out on the grass and mud, as well, and do those hard miles. In the wind, the rain and the ice. If you can do all that, I think you come out stronger in the summer.
‘The Euro Cross has been one regular for me over a number of years and that has pleased me and lifted me on occasion.
‘I was captain at the 2014 one and what an honour that felt. It made me feel people did look up to me and hold me in high regard – even when sometimes you feel down yourself about your performances.
‘I felt part of the GB community again and that was very important to me.’
Hampden 2014 – Steph was injured in the build-up