Scotland’s Eilish McColgan claimed gold in the women’s 10,000m title in the athletics at the Commonwealth Games — breaking her mother’s 36-year-old record in the process.
Liz Nuttall (formerly McColgan) set the 10,000m mark of 31:41.42 at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Scotland, before defending it four years later in New Zealand at the 1990 event.
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Nuttall missed the remainder of the 1990 season as she was pregnant with the now 31-year-old Eilish, who was born in November of the same year.
Remarkably, Liz’s record had never been beaten in the 36 years since, until her daughter lowered the Games record to 30:48.60 in a stunning performance in Birmingham.
It was an all-time finish of the 10,000m as Eilish defeated Kenya’s Irene Cheptai for the gold.
Having raised her arms to the skies, fallen onto the track in celebration and picked herself up, she draped herself in the Scottish flag and went over to her mother where they shared an emotional embrace.
It’s an image which has become one of the iconic moments of the Games.
It was Scotland’s first track title since Yvonne Murray won the same event in 1994.
“It’s just been such an up and down year with Covid, another illness and a couple of other niggles,” Eilish said.
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more to have my family here, it was vibrating through my body.”
Her mother beamed with pride.
“To witness your daughter win in the same event is incredible,” the 58-year-old said.
British running commentator Rob Walker praised the incredible scenes.
“Wherever you are in the world, whoever you’re supporting, I hope you really appreciate this great, great moment for distance running,” he said.
“History does repeat itself. Liz cannot believe it, and I’m not sure Eilish can either. But at last, after so many disappointments, and so much heartache, she is a champion, just like her mum.
“That was such a special, special 10,000m to witness.”
Channel 7’s Jason Richardson called it “the moment of the Games” after the race, and Eilish said the crowd pushed her over the line.
“The crowd was just insane,” she said.
“It was like a vibration going through my body. Even the last 200; I can’t even explain that feeling.
“At 150 to go, I thought, ‘I’m going to win this.’ The crowd just pushed and pushed me right to the end.
“It’s surreal. The whole thing is just surreal. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”
Eilish had competed at the World Championships earlier this month, finishing 10th after illness, but ran a 30.34.60 that race.
While her Commonwealth Games record was not a PB, Walker called it “one of the bravest pieces of 10,000m running I have ever seen.”
“It felt like an important moment for British sport, and a great moment for the McColgan family,” he said during commentary.
“I don’t think they’ll ever tire of watching that back. The stadium has been ignited by this performance.”
The race went right down to the wire as Eilish and Cheptai were neck-and-neck until the Scot finally broke away in the home straight to claim the gold — and her mother’s record.
“History is being rewritten here in Birmingham in spectacular fashion,” Walker said.
“Eilish McColgan is the Commonwealth champion, just like her mum was back in 1986. She’s beaten a former world cross country champion to do it.
“This is the performance of her lifetime.”