Eilidh Doyle insists there was no better way to bring the curtain down on Rio 2016 than by helping Great Britain secure a magnificent 4x400m relay bronze.
The 29-year-old Edinburgh University graduate ran a solid first leg for Team GB, before Anyika Onuora, Emily Diamond and two-time world champion Christine Ohuruogu brought the team home in a time of 3:25.88 minutes for third place.
Gold went to the USA – the defending Olympic champions from London 2012 – who crossed the line in 3:19.06 with Jamaica taking the silver medal.
And after missing out on a medal in the individual 400m hurdles final earlier in the week, Doyle admits the satisfaction of standing on the podium at an Olympic Games was a very special achievement.
“I think I am happy with my opening leg. I felt as though I was tightening up a little bit but I was just trying to get the baton to Anyika as soon as possible,” Doyle – who has a degree in Physical Education from the Capital university and is an ardent Hearts fan – said.
“I have so much faith in these girls and as soon as I have passed the baton over I can trust these girls to get the job done. I kind of set it up nicely and it was just incredible. I was screaming at them the whole time and I wanted us to hang on to the bronze medal.
“I quite like being the first one out because I get to do my job and then watch. I hate that feeling of watching everyone else before you have ran, so at least I can get it out of the way.
“We had a meeting at 12pm and I was pleased to be involved because I thought we were capable of winning a medal and you want to be a part of it.
“I have kind of become a regular feature on the first leg and I like it. Not many people like first legs, they try to avoid it whereas I like it because there is no drama.
“I ran the first leg in the last two World Championships and we won a bronze, I ran it in Amsterdam and we won gold there, so I think I have hopefully earned my spot on it.
“It was another chance to go out there and run for a medal so for me it was about bringing something home.”
Doyle now has a complete set of international medals – her Olympic bronze adding to successes at World, Commonwealth and European level.
And although there is sometimes pressure for an athlete of Doyle’s experience to consider their future after a major championship – she will be doing nothing of the sort.
“I have won world medals, Europeans too, but there is something very special about an Olympic medal,” she added. “That is the one that you always want and that is the complete collection for me.
“I love athletics and I love training and I love competing. I love my life and I love what I do.
“When you get to 30, which I am nearing, people start talking about coming to the end.
“But I can’t imagine stopping right now because I literally love what I do.”
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