Eilish’s gold was 100 times better than my Commonwealth triumphs

Eilish’s gold was 100 times better than my Commonwealth triumphs

Eilish’s gold was 100 times better than my Commonwealth triumphs

Liz McColgan: Eilish's gold was 100 times better than my Commonwealth triumphs - PA

Liz McColgan: Eilish’s gold was 100 times better than my Commonwealth triumphs – PA

Liz McColgan described seeing her daughter Eilish follow in his footsteps by winning Commonwealth 10,000m gold as “100 times better” than her own track success.

Eilish McColgan achieved the rare feat of not only continuing the family legacy with Commonwealth gold for Scotland, but exactly emulating her mother in claiming the same 10,000m title she won in 1986 and 1990.

After throwing her arms in the air after a thrilling final sprint at Wednesday night’s race in Birmingham, Eilish ran into the stands to celebrate with Liz, who is also her coach.

“As an athlete, you have fond memories of being successful, but when they’re your kids it’s, like, 100 times better,” Liz told BBC Radio Scotland. “It was just one of those really special moments and I was really grateful to really be at the stadium and to experience how her home support helped lead her to that gold medal.

“It was just one of those really, really special moments that will probably never come back. It was a great atmosphere, and it was really exciting and nerve-wracking to be a part of it. “

Scottish Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted: “Every medal is special, but what tears in my eyes to see Eilish McColgan equal her mother’s gold in 1986.”

Liz, 58, remains one of Britain’s most famous long distance runners after winning world gold in 1991 and Olympic silver three years earlier. She has also won multiple marathons after transitioning to road running at the end of her career.

Liz McColgan, later Liz Lynch, won Commonwealth 10,000m gold in Edinburgh in 1986 - GETTY IMAGES

Liz McColgan, later Liz Lynch, won Commonwealth 10,000m gold in Edinburgh in 1986 – GETTY IMAGES

Liz McColgan shows her gold medal after 10,000 wins in 1990 - GETTY IMAGES

Liz McColgan shows her gold medal after 10,000 wins in 1990 – GETTY IMAGES

Although Eilish, 31, has spent much of her career breaking her mother’s records and delivering her best marks to history, her only previous major outdoor medalist was Europe’s only silver medalist in the 5,000m of 2018. Earlier this year, she broke Liz’s Scottish records for both the 10,000 and the half marathon, but this was her first major international title.

It was also the fourth time he had attempted to make it to the Commonwealth podium, in his fourth different event, having previously represented Scotland on 1,500, 5,000 and 3,000 steeplechase.

Liz said her daughter’s victory came in a “really tough race”, with Eilish coming dramatically from behind to see Kenyan Irine Cheptai in the final stages to triumph.

“Everything about the race was the way we talked about it and thought it was going to happen,” Liz said.

“For about three years, Eilish’s goal has been to get a medal at the Commonwealth Games, and I think she herself would never think of gold, but what an amazing race she ran, she ran with a lot of courage.

“For her to have family and friends there to actually share the moment with her, she just fell apart, she was like, ‘I can’t believe this.'”

Eilish McColgan overtook Kenya's Irene Cheptai in the last 100 meters - EPA-EFE / SHUTTERSTOCK

Eilish McColgan overtook Kenya’s Irene Cheptai in the last 100 meters – EPA-EFE / SHUTTERSTOCK

At the age of 26 when she gave birth to her daughter, Liz returned to racing in remarkably fast time, competing in an international 5km race in Florida just six weeks after Eilish was born. She was crowned the 10,000m world champion when Eilish was only nine months old and her daughter spent much of her early years following her mother around the world while Liz competed.

After his Commonwealth win, Eilish said: “The noise of the last 200 meters, honestly, dragged me to the finish.

“It was just an incredible evening. And even more special to have my mother in the crowd, my father, my partner Michael [Rimmer, three-time Olympic 800m runner].

“It’s just surreal to have won it so many years after my mother. I can’t put it into words. “

Eilish will now continue to follow her mother’s path when she makes her marathon debut at the London Marathon in October. Liz triumphed in that race in 1996.

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