Local hopes for Eilish

editorial image

THE COUNTRY is set to become engulfed in Olympic fever over the next few weeks with our local area having its very own athlete going for gold.

Carnoustie’s Eilish McColgan is set to compete in the London Games, and become the first ever Olympian to hail from the town.

Eilish (21) will compete in the women’s 3,000 metre steeplechase, an event which only appeared for women for the first time at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

But earning a place in Team GB seemed only a dream for Eilish a year ago after she broke her foot while competing.

But she raced back to fitness, even overcoming a heavy cold on the day of the Olympic trial last month to land her place in the Olympic team.

Speaking after her place was confirmed she said: “At Christmas time I was on crutches and I couldn’t walk.

“If someone said I’d be going to the Olympic Games this year I would just have laughed at them.”

Athletics is something that obviously runs in the family as Eilish’s mum is former long distance world champion Liz McColgan, who now coaches her daughter.

Liz competed in the 1988 Seoul Olympics winning silver in the 10,000 metres.

And she couldn’t be more proud of Eilish.

She said: “It’s far better seeing Eilish do it.

“That gives me much more pride than anything I did in athletics. Nothing compares to it.

“She’s got to go and soak it all up. London’s going to be really special and it’s great she’s going to be a part of it now.”

Eilish is now in Portugal with the rest of the British athletics team and will travel back to London in time for the women’s 3,000 steeplechase heats, which take place on Saturday, August 4, from 11.35 p.m. in the Olympic Stadium.

Another member of Team GB with local connections is Marine Chris Sherrington (28), who is based at 45 Commando in Arbroath but is originally from Wigan, Lancashire.

Chris will be the first heavyweight in 20 years to represent Great Britain in judo, competing in the men’s +100kg category.

His event begins on Friday, August 3, in the ExCel centre.