Magnificent Megan! Scot takes bronze in Rome but tough night for Eilish

Wednesday 12th June 2024

Photo by James Rhodes

Rome Results

Megan Keith claimed the first Senior championship medal of her coruscating career in Rome.

The young Scot, with a superb pedigree in European events in cross country and on the track, maintained that progress with a brilliant third place in the Women’s 10,000m final at the European Championships.

Italian favourite Nadio Battocletti won the race to add to her 5000m title win and Megan was well clear in third in 31:04.77 as Dutch athlete Diane van Es took the silver.

The quality at the front was such that Battocletti set an Italian National Record to win in 30:51.32 with the Dutch athlete at 30:57.24.

Eilish McColgan, unfortunately, found her first track race in more than a year too big an ask and stepped off that talk around the 6k mark.

Many congratulations to Megan, her family, coach Ross Cairns and all involved in her development with Inverness Harriers and Edinburgh Uni Hare and Hounds.

‘I’m really happy with that,’ said Megan.

‘When the start lists went in, I knew Nadia (Battocletti) was always going to be difficult to beat. But I gave it a shot and I’m just really happy to come away with a bronze medal tonight.

‘I felt comfortable, perhaps in hindsight, a bit too comfortable with 1500m to go because I know the last lap is never going to be my strength.

‘When I went to the front, I probably should have committed harder to it but I also knew those girls had a kick. My thing is grinding in the laps. I gave a new tactic a shot because I knew a medal was secure with a kilometre to go.

‘I had never done a 10k before this year, so all the progress has been in the last few months. I feel like a different runner to the one at the World Championships last summer.

‘I was on this new stage that I’ve never run on before but I took it on tonight, and I’m happy to feel more at home on a stage like that.’

Eilish, sadly, dropped out of the race around the 6k mark. The Olympian had been with an initial eight to break clear with that group then becoming six.

But at the halfway mark she had dropped off the bakc of the group and was struggling to maintain any kind of contact with the leaders.

A third GB and NI athlete, Jess Warner-Judd, also dropped out.

‘Obviously, I’m very disappointed today,’ said Eilish.

‘It’s no secret that I’ve had a really disrupted build-up coming into it.

‘Honestly the last three or four weeks training has been really really good. I felt like I could come here and be relatively competitive, maybe get into top five, finish the race, whole body feeling good and wearing a pair of spikes for 10k that would be the plan.

‘I could say ‘yeah I’m back’ not quite in top form yet but at least I’m showing something.

‘To be honest to drop out I am absolute gutted but there was nothing there. I got to halfway and thought I’m in trouble today. I even felt a little bit dizzy toward the end.’


Tags: Eilish McColgan, European Champs, Italy, Megan Keith, Rome

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