Sport Editor Charles Nurick caught up with athlete and University of Edinburgh alumni, Eilidh Doyle, at last week’s homecoming parade in Festival Square reflecting on her experiences at the Rio Olympics.
Charles Nurick: Having competed in London, how did you find Rio, both on a personal level and overall?
Eilidh Doyle: “Yeah, I mean totally different. London was my first Olympics and for a first Olympics it was going to be quite overwhelming, but to be a home Games as well and to be as huge as London was, it was very overwhelming for me and I kind of felt going into Rio that I was in a much better position. I had a lot more experience at championships so I felt going into Rio I was much more confident and could go there and perform well, whereas in London it was quite overwhelming for me, with it being my first Olympics.”
CN: Within Team GB as a whole, there is a lot of talk about ‘legacy’ after London. Is that something you’ve noticed as an athlete in the set-up?
ED: “Yeah, definitely. I think the fact that we did better in the medal tally in Rio than in London I think is huge, you know, because not many countries will do any better than what they’ve done at a home Games because they have that home advantage. So for us I think the legacy has really carried through because we’ve gone even better in Rio and hopefully that can carry on in Tokyo as well and we can do even better out there.”
CN: You’re now the most decorated Scottish female athlete across all competitions, so how different is it for you representing both Scotland and Great Britain?
ED: “It’s the same. I think that the nice thing is that when I won the medal I was obviously competing for Team GB and it was great to win it and obviously I just run for myself anyway. But to actually come back to Scotland and hear all the stats because it was the first medal that an athlete had won for Scotland in athletics for 28 years. So you get all these little facts about being a Scottish athlete that’s really special. We’re obviously very patriotic in Scotland, so it’s nice.”
CN: As you’re running both individually and in the relay, do you have a preference?
ED: “Well there are pros and cons to both. I love running individually, that’s the event. The hurdles is what I love to do but it’s nice to actually go and do a bit with other girls so you’re kind of in it together. When you go and run the individual, you’re there yourself whereas when you go and run the relay you’ve got three other girls that are there supporting you and it’s nice to have that company, especially when you win and you get to do a lap of honour with three girls that you’re really good friends with.”
CN: Is the next goal Tokyo or is it the World Championships next year?
ED: “In athletics we always have something happening every year so the the big thing for us next year is the World Championships in London, back at the Olympic Stadium. Then it’s going to be back to the Gold Coast for the Commonwealth Games, another World Championships and then it’s Tokyo. So it’s going to be around before I know it!
Image courtesy of Brian Holsclaw