Eilish McColgan ran a well calculated race on Wednesday, August 3, to deny Kenya the 10,000m women's gold medal at the ongoing 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, United Kingdom.
The Scottish international was in the leading pack for most part of the race alongside Kenya's duo of Sheila Kiprotich and Irene Cheptai, waiting patiently for the right time before producing a brilliant kick in the final few meters to win the race.
At first, it looked like Cheptai would win the gold medal since she opened a few meters gap in the final lap. However, the Kenyan did not have the energy to hold on to his lead.
As the two athletes approached the final bend, Eilish closed the gap and eventually crossed the finishing line in a Commonwealth record of 30:48.60 minutes at the Alexander Stadium.
The 31-year-old managed to replicate what her mother, Liz McColgan, did 36 years ago. Immediately after finishing the race, McColgan ran to the arms of her mother who could not hide her emotions. The duo embraced each other and shed tears with the Scottish flag wrapped around them.
Speaking after the race, an emotional McColgan stated that the performance would not have been possible without the support she received from the crowd.
"It's just been such an up and down year with Covid, another illness and a couple of other niggles.
"I couldn't have asked for anything more to have my family here, it was vibrating through my body. I have never sprinted like that in my life and without the crowd I could never have done that," McColgan was quoted by the Scotsman.
Cheptai, who is a former world cross country champion, settled for silver in 30:49.52 ahead of compatriot Kiprotich who struggled in the final lap of the race due to a suspected injury. Kiprotich's bravery and the never give up spirit paid off as she clocked 31:49.52.
Uganda's Stella Chesang finished fourth while the English duo of Jessica Judd and Samantha Harrison registered a fifth and sixth place finish respectively.
McColgan's story is an inspiring one. The British Half marathon record holder failed to take part in the 10,000m race at the recently concluded World Athletics World Championships after testing positive for pandemic, a few days before the final.
Her focus now shifts to the upcoming London Marathon where she would battle the likes of Kenya's world record holder Brigid Kosgei and a couple of other elite athletes.