Eilish McColgan: 5,000m final place 'a dream come true'

Eilish McColgan competes in the Rio Olympics 5,000m heats
McColgan finished fifth in her heat in Rio

Eilish McColgan says making the final of the 5,000m at the Rio Olympics is "beyond anything" she could have dreamed of.

McColgan, 28, finished fifth in her heat in 15 minutes 18.20 seconds in a race won by Ethiopia's 10,000m champion Almaz Ayana, who clocked 15:04.36.

The Scot only returned to training in February following a broken ankle.

"It's a huge achievement in itself," McColgan told BBC Scotland after sealing a place in Saturday's final.

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GB's McColgan reaches 5,000m final

"I'm not going to medal, I'm not going to be anywhere near the medals but to make that actual final is beyond anything I could've dreamed of.

"It is literally like a dream come true. If someone said to me at the start of the year I would make the Olympic 5k final, I would've thought they were insane.

"I needed this today. I just wanted it so badly. It's been such a long time coming.

"To be in that final, that was the aim. It was an outside aim. To automatically qualify and not have to stress out - couldn't be happier."

McColgan's mother, Liz, won Olympic silver in Seoul 28 years ago and Eilish added: "It's actually been quite a challenge for myself and my mum because it's totally different to how she coached herself, how she coaches other athletes because of the problems that I had.

Liz McColgan
Liz McColgan with her Olympic silver medal

"She's always been the one keeping me focused. She knows exactly what I've been through. My family are going to be going crazy.

"Right up until January this year, I wasn't walking. I started back jogging again February/March. I was really, really unfit and struggling. Still had a lot of pain, actually not in my ankle that I originally broke but nerve pain going up into my leg.

"I still cross-train now, every single day. I can't run everyday or twice a day like everyone else.

"The hours and hours of just staring at a wall has made me a bit stronger. I know what I want now and I want to be here.

"It's been such a long process even to get to this line - to be pain free and to actually be able to run. Even to be in spikes as well, I didn't get into spikes until quite late on."

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