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22 July 2021

Beth Dobbin relishing unexpected chance to be an Olympian

22 July 2021

Sprinter Beth Dobbin admits she never expected to be an Olympian but is ready to grab her chance.

The Scottish 200m record holder’s rapid rise and selection for Tokyo has left her in disbelief ahead of the Games, which start on Friday.

She juggled four jobs while at Loughborough University, including as a receptionist at the high performance centre, and was unfunded before becoming British 200m champion in 2018.

Dobbin, who has also been included in the 4x100m relay squad, said: “I never expected this to happen to me. Five years ago I wasn’t anywhere near making an Olympic team.

“My personal best was 23.94 seconds having only broken 24 seconds once. I remember feeling so far off.

“I was OK with that, I was just enjoying my athletics. It feels like such an honour and I have worked so hard.

“There aren’t many people who do become Olympians, in your every day life there are very few people who get to call themselves an Olympian so I can’t believe I’m one of those people.

“It’s all I ever wanted since I was nine years old. I watched Kelly Holmes win double gold in Athens, from then I was obsessed. In 2012 I bought so much memorabilia, I had a sticker book, all that stuff.

There aren't many people who do become Olympians, in your every day life there are very few people who get to call themselves an Olympian so I can't believe I'm one of those people

“I don’t think I missed a moment of it. I had a flag outside my window, I’ve got loads of cups and plates which say London 2012. I brought it all to University with me and then brought it all back because I realised it was just a bit sad.

“I walked round the kitting out, anything free I had my hands on. I picked up one thing – binoculars for your phone which I think makes your phone go 3D. I don’t know why I need that but I picked it up.”

Her other jobs while trying to make it were on security at Loughborough, checking passes at the main gates, going to schools to talk about athletics and inputting results for the Power of 10 website.

And Dobbin would tell her 22-year-old self to keep going because it will be worth it.

She said: “Stick at it. I wouldn’t be proving anyone wrong because I don’t think anyone said anything but I would probably prove myself wrong. The 6am get ups are so worth it.

“I just want to run well, I know how that sounds but I want to perform to the best of my ability.

“I would love to run a personal best, you can’t ask for much more than that. If that gets me to the semi-final or final, I will be happy with that. As long as I have performed to my best and done myself justice.”

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