Stephanie Davis: Part-time athlete still in shock over Olympics qualification

By Tyrone SmithBBC Scotland Sport
Ben Connor, Stephanie Davis and Chris Thompson after achieving the qualifying time at the marathon trials
Stephanie Davis, centre, qualified for the Olympics with a person best in the Team GB trials

Stephanie Davis admits she is "still in a state of shock" having achieved Olympic qualification less than three years after running her first marathon.

The Glaswegian part-time athlete sealed her place at Tokyo this summer with victory in the recent Team GB trials.

Davis, 30, ran a personal best of two hours 27 minutes 16 seconds - more than two minutes inside the qualifying time - over the Kew Gardens course.

"I'm proud, excited, still waiting for it to sink in," she told BBC Scotland.

"Berlin in autumn 2018 was my first marathon. And definitely back then I was never thinking I'll be going to the Olympics in three years' time.

"Kew honestly was a surprise for me. Even when I was in the lead, I was thinking I just need to keep this up and stay focused because I had no idea what was happening behind me. I wasn't sure I'd bagged it until I crossed that line."

Davis will join fellow Scots marathon runners Callum Hawkins and Steph Twell in Tokyo, with the trio among the first seven members of the Team GB athletics squad confirmed.

Davis, who works in finance, only started to take athletics seriously in 2018 and has enjoyed a remarkable rise.

She followed up her 2018 Berlin debut by running almost nine seconds quicker with a time of 2:32:38 in April 2019 at the London Marathon, and then clocked 2:27.40 eight months later in Valencia.

"Every step along the way has been a huge shock," she added.

"When I started training for Berlin I'd never done a structured plan, I'd always just gone along to group club sessions. I had no balance of intensity or easy versus hard runs.

"To then have that plan with my coach was something my body responded to and I really enjoyed it. Seeing what I could do in Berlin made me realise there was something there.

"But even at that point I never thought I'd be able to run sub 2.30 in an Olympic qualifying time."

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