British athlete and mum-of-two Jo Pavey, 40, has become the oldest European champion in history by becoming European Champion in the 10,000m in Zurich on Tuesday night. The feat is even more impressive considering that she gave birth to her second baby just 11 months ago.
In what is bound to inspire respect from mums all across the country, the win is runner Jo’s first major title, following her bronze medal in the 5,000m at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 11 days ago – proving that age and motherhood are no barrier to sporting success.
In what was considered the perfect tactical race, Jo tucked in behind France’s Clemence Calvin – 16 years her junior – when she broke off at two laps to go, before storming ahead of the French runner after the bell marking one lap to go and winning in 32 minutes 22.39 seconds.
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Considering she was still breastfeeding in April and was unable to attend some important training camps earlier in the season, the win is a wonderful reward for the mum-of-two.
Pavey told BBC Sport: ‘I just can't believe it. I was finding it quite a long way - I was thinking, is this the right event?
‘I'm really thrilled. I tried to do a controlled last lap, but when I got to the home straight I thought, just give it all you've got, so you don't regret anything.’
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