Hurdler Eilidh Doyle targets Olympics in same year as giving birth

Pregnant Eilidh Doyle wants to compete in next year's Olympics. Picture: SNS
Pregnant Eilidh Doyle wants to compete in next year's Olympics. Picture: SNS
Share this article
0
Have your say

Eilidh Doyle is targeting giving birth and competing in the Olympics in the same year after being inspired by gold medal-winning mothers at the World Championships.

The 32-year-old recently announced that she and husband and coach Brian were expecting their first child in January.

Eilidh Doyle with Still Game stars Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill at the Great Scottish Run. Picture: John Devlin

Eilidh Doyle with Still Game stars Ford Kiernan and Greg Hemphill at the Great Scottish Run. Picture: John Devlin

Doyle is not going to put too much pressure on herself to make the Tokyo Olympics, which take place in July and August next year, but she wants to aim high.

The 400-metre hurdler said: "We are not putting any pressure on it but I would like to get back as quickly as possible, for my own health as much as anything, so I can get back in shape.

"Obviously I will need to see when the baby is born and how I feel but the Olympics would be my ultimate goal. It's good to have that target there to help me get back and keep that motivation high.

"It will be more to be a member of the relay team. Hurdles is my main love but it would be difficult to be competitive to get a medal."

Doyle has been inspired by watching the action from Doha. Alyson Felix won a relay gold 10 months after giving birth by Caesarean section and Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce won the 100m gold at the age of 32, before being joined on her celebrations by her two-year-old son.

"It shows there is no limit," Doyle said. "Seeing Shelly-Ann's performance and even her intnerview after the 100 metres final was massively inspiring. I had goosebumps when I heard her speak.

"There have been others beforehand like Jess Ennis and even back to Liz McColgan when she had Eilish. There's lots of examples."

Doyle has adapted to watching rather than competing. The Perth-born athlete said: "It has been strange, more when the team went out. I follow them all on Instagram and Twitter so I was seeing them all head out. It's the first World Championships I've not been at since my first in 2009 so that was weird.

"But I'm really enjoying being a fan. I never really get to watch athletics because you are caught up in a bubble so it's good to see what my family get to see."

The Scottish Athletics board member also has a vested interest in the event as 12 of the 72 British competitors are Scots.

"It's massive. I don't think there has been one thing to account for the rise but to have home championships was a major factor. Glasgow 2014 was huge for athletics and sport in general in Scotland.

"And then when people from your area start to do well it inspires others, for example myself and Laura (Muir) are from Perth and Kinross and Eilish is from Dundee and people from there start saying 'why can't I do that?'"

Glasgow is set to get more world-class athletics action on successive weeks in February with the world's top indoor event and the SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships being staged on consecutive weekends.

Doyle said: "The 2014 games was the start of Glasgow showing it can put on a good show, the athletics at Hampden was tremendous and we have followed that up with the European Championships in 2018 and the European Indoor Championships this year.

"Now there are two more big events at the Emirates in February and it's brilliant for Glasgow and Scotland, a chance to see some top athletes."

Tickets for the Muller Indoor Grand Prix (February 15) and SPAR British Athletics Indoor Championships (February 22-23) at Glasgow's Emirates Arena go on general sale on Thursday October 3 from noon, priced from £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. Visit the British Athletics website https://www.britishathletics.org.uk/events-and-tickets/