Eilish looks to Rio 2016

CARNOUSTIE’S Eilish McColgan says competing at the London Olympic Games was amazing despite being disappointed with her performance.

The 21-year-old came ninth in her heat of the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase on Saturday lunchtime posting a time of nine minutes 54.36 seconds.

Unfortunately it wasn’t fast enough to qualify for Monday night’s final but she had the full support of the Olympic Stadium behind her as she competed.

And after the race she said: “The experience was amazing, I’ve never run in front of an 80,000 crowd but I’m very disappointed with my time.

“As for position, that’s about where I would have expected to be, but it was just a lot slower than I thought.

“I thought I was operating at a much faster rate, so I am really disappointed, as I’m in great shape and I’ve not really proved that today.

“Obviously it’s such a big occasion and there was a huge crowd, but I was so focused on running well and knowing I was in good shape. That’s what’s disappointed me really.

“Training had gone well and I knew I was in the best shape of my life. Everybody has their ups and downs and unfortunately that was one of my downs.”

However, Eilish knows she has many things to look forward to over the next few years and was told just to enjoy the Olympic experience by her mum, the former 10,000 metre world champion Liz McColgan.

And with the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 then the next Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, she is looking to the future.

Eilish added: “Mum told me to really enjoy this experience, because I’m never going to get this opportunity again in a home Games.

“I’m quite fortunate that there is Glasgow 2014 and London in 2017 [the IAAF World Championships] to look forward to.

“I really believe the next six years is the best time for athletes and with me being 21, that’s what I want to go on and achieve.

“When it was announced it was going to be London I had no expectation about getting here. I hadn’t even thought about it.

“Last year I got closer and closer to the time, and it was becoming more and more of a reality, then I broke my foot.

“People told me not to worry because I’d got the Olympics, but I thought there was no chance of me doing it because of my foot.

“I’m grateful I am here, I am fit and I can walk home rather than being wheelchaired out. It’s been amazing, something I could never have dreamt of.”

The winner of the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase was Yuliya Zaripova of Russia.