world : Bronze medallist Keith's shock at 10,000m impact

world : Bronze medallist Keith's shock at 10,000m impact
world : Bronze medallist Keith's shock at 10,000m impact

Wednesday 12 June 2024 10:52 PM

Nafeza 2 world - Megan Keith says she could not have dreamt of the impact she was going to make at 10,000m when she raced the distance for the first time as "an experiment" three months ago.

The Inverness athlete continued her remarkable rise since stepping up by claiming bronze at the European Championships in Rome in what was just her third 10,000m race.

The 22-year-old has been shocked at how quickly she has adapted to the longer distance in such a short period of time.

"It was a bit of an experiment doing the first one back in March, just to see how I took to it," she said.

"They are quite gruelling races so you have to pick and choose which ones you do and how often you do them, so we have been purposeful on the races we have picked to run.

"It has taken me a little bit to get to grips with the level I am running at now, which is really cool, but the steps don’t seem quite so big and remarkable when you are just going through daily training.

"I see them as small steps, whereas when you come out and race every few months they seem a lot bigger stepping stones - but it is a cool place to be."

Keith burst on to the 10,000m scene in March when she achieved the Olympic qualifying time, putting her fourth on the women’s UK all-time list of times.

She followed that by winning the British title last month in her second outing – securing her spot at this summer’s Paris Olympics in the process.

Now she has a European bronze medal to her name.

Despite her meteoric rise, the European Under-23 cross-country and 5,000m gold medallist is keen to play down any talk she could be challenging for a medal when she takes to the track again in France.

“No, I’m not throwing myself into thinking anything like that," she added.

"It will be a very tough race, even the conditions will be a fight within themselves, so I am prepared for it to be the hardest race I have ever run - but I am going to give it a good shot.

"I don’t really feel satisfied after I have raced; to me there is always something I can do better, but I think I can definitely appreciate the progress I have made. But I always know there is more to be done as well.”

Only three female UK athletes have run faster than Keith over the distance, a group that includes household names Eilish McColgan and Paula Radcliffe.

However, Keith plays down any attempt at a comparison to such esteemed company.

“I haven’t heard too much of that, I think they are definitely still a fair few levels above me in their prowess and their achievements but I am just happy with where I am at the moment," she said.

"I am three months into my 10,000m career so I would hope there is more to come, but we shall see."

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