Eilish McColgan: who is 10,000m gold winner at Commonwealth Games? Scottish athlete wins first major gold

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Scottish-British athlete Eilish McColgan celebrates first major gold medal at Commonwealth Games

The Scottish athlete Eilish McColgan has recently celebrated her first major gold win at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

In front of 30,000 people at the Alexander Stadium, McColgan pushed past the Kenyan Irene Cheptai to take the gold medal in the 10,000m - the same race her mum, Liz, had won gold for Scotland at the 1986 and 1990 Commonwealth Games.

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Not only did McColgan win her first major gold, she also recorded a games’ record for the 10,000m, completing the race in 30mins 48.60 seconds.

McColgan’s win is even more impressive given the Scottish runner had to endure seven weeks out with Covid, further illnesses and minor injuries in the lead up to last month’s World Championships where she finished 10th.

Speaking after her win, McColgan said: “My family were here, the crowd on that last 100m, well it was vibrating through my own body.

“Without the crowd, I wouldn’t have finished that. I wanted it so badly.

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“I know the girls were super strong. But I knew if I could stay with them I had a chance of a medal. This is an absolute dream”

So who is the new Scottish superstar Eilish McColgan?

Who is Eilish McColgan?

Born in 1990 in Dundee, McColgan attended the High School of Dundee before studying mathematics and accountancy at the University of Dundee.

Both her parents, Liz and Peter, are athletes and McColgan is coached by her mother.

McColgan crosses the line in 10,000mMcColgan crosses the line in 10,000m
McColgan crosses the line in 10,000m | Getty Images

Liz McColgan is a former 10,000 World Champion and Olympic silver medallist.

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After winning Scottish Schools, Seniors and Indoor Championships, McColgan was selected for the 2008 Youth Commonwealth Games in India but suffered a major knee injury which took her out of the game for a year and a half.

Her debut at a senior level for Great Britain came at the 2011 European Team Championships in Stockholm, Sweden.

After winning a silver medal in the 5000m at the UK Outdoor Championships, and the gold medal in the 1500m at the 2011 Scottish University Championships, McColgan qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics steeplechase.

Four years later, McColgan then qualified for the final of the women’s 5000 metres.

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Eilish McColgan in 2022

February 2022 saw McColgan set a new British record in the 5km road race, hitting 14.48 in Dubai, breaking the record set by Paula Radcliffe in 2003 and bettering her mother’s own unofficial record of 14.57 in 1991.

McColgan then went on to beat Radcliffe’s 21-year-old British half marathon record by 12 seconds, completing the course in a time of one hour, six minutes and 26 seconds.

Paula Radcliffe’s 10km record was then smashed at the Great Manchester Run by McColgan who finished the race in 30 minutes 19 seconds.

The Scottish 31-year-old finished second, behind Hellen Obiri.

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After coming sixth in her other races at the Commonwealth Games 2022, McColgan finally won her first ever major gold at the women’s 10,000 metres, achieving a games record in the meantime.

McColgan outside the track

In March 2022, the Dundee graduate launched a non-profit organisation with partner and fellow Olympian Michael Rimmer.

The aim of their organisation, Giving Back to Track, is to encourage young people to get involved in athletics and to fund the next generation of female athletes.

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