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10 June 2021

Steph Twell reassured about the safety of Team GB athletes in Tokyo

10 June 2021

Steph Twell believes Team GB have already proved they can guarantee athletes’ safety against coronavirus in Tokyo.

The 31-year-old is preparing to run the marathon at the Olympics which start in Japan next month.

Twell has already collected her kit and, ahead of her third Olympics, believes the protocols in place at the kitting out process show how the team will be looked after.

She said: “It’s the first thing I noticed. I’m reassured as an athlete the protocols will enable me to have the safest possible chance of getting to the start line Covid-free.

“The protocols are really important and going to a country like Japan, who have a lot of protocols themselves, will align really well with the Japanese culture.

“It’s (kitting out) more impressive this time, for Beijing I was a late addition to the team so I was one of the last athletes and got my kit in a suitcase.

It's the first thing I noticed. I'm reassured as an athlete the protocols will enable me to have the safest possible chance of getting to the start line Covid-free

“In Rio we did it straight after the trials and it was amazing but really busy.This is a really smooth, efficient and Covid-considered environment.

“Being here has made me feel reassured about the levels Team GB are putting in before we go out.

“For me it’s been a nice milestone, I feel this has started to bring the team together, it’s allowed us to visualise how we are going to be and that is special to know we are becoming united rather than training individually.”

Twell has switched to the marathon having previously run the 10,000 metres – coming 15th at the World Championships in Doha in 2019 – and winning 5,000m bronze at the 2016 European Championships.

She will also compete in a half marathon in Dorney on Saturday as she starts her countdown to the Games.

Twell has not run a marathon since failing to finish at last year’s London Marathon elite race and has battled hamstring and foot injuries.

Muller Indoor Grand Prix – Emirates Arena (PA Archive)

“I’m really happy with where I am and where I’m headed,” said Twell, with the women’s Olympic race on August 7.

“We’re eight weeks away and I’m racing this weekend, a bit of a time trial. I’m racing at Dorney Lake, close to Eton, and what an amazing inspiring environment to give you a little send-off before you go away.

“For endurance and mass events it’s been really hard, there has been a bit of a hiatus and a bit of a drought for the longer distances.

“Dorney are having a socially-distanced start but it’s an opportunity to see where I’m at, where I’m heading and what I need to work on in the next eight weeks.

“I’m feeling healthy and fit and I’m looking forward to getting the next bit of work done, we have to finalise the preparation.”

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