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Pavey runs qualifier in Bilbao

It was double delight for Jo Pavey at the European Cup 10,000m in Bilbao.

Jo Pavey

Jo Pavey

Not only did the Devon athlete achieve the Olympic A standard with a time of 31:32.22, but her second place finish helped the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland’s women’s team win the overall competition.

Pavey’s podium spot ended Britain’s 11-year wait for an individual medal, Paula Radcliffe was the last female Briton to achieve such a feat back in 2001, when she won the competition.

In-form Pavey has now the current Olympic A standard in both 5000m and 10,000m.

“It was my main hope to get the time for the Olympics,” said Pavey.

“I’m pleased and relieved really. It leaves my options open and the team hasn’t been selected yet. It’s just nice to have the qualifying times so I’m really pleased.

“Maybe I would prefer the 10,000m but I haven’t made a definite decision. I want to see how training goes, but I think it’s more likely that I will prefer to target the 10. I need to get home and discuss things. I still want to improve my training and try and run some quicker times. I’m just really thrilled to have the A standard.”

The sun certainly shone gold on Pavey and the rest of her team-mates in the Basque city as they took the overall team title for the first time. Charlotte Purdue (Mick Woods) was the next Brit to cross the line after Pavey in 7th (32:18.44), before Gemma Steel (John Nuttall) and Hannah Walker (Bud Baldaro) in 9th (32:34.81) and 14th (33:10.95). Sonia Samuels (George Gandy) and Freya Murray (Steve Jones) completed proceedings with 15th (33:11.53) and 19th (33.16.33) places respectively.

“It’s really nice for us winning as a team, added Pavey. “The girls did really well and it was nice to do well as a team.”

In the men’s competition John Beattie (John Nuttall)  was the Aviva GB & NI team’s highest placed scorer in 18th spot, completing  the 25 laps in 29:49.59. James Walsh (Mike Baxter) finished four places below in 29:53.44, while Keith Gerrard (Art Acevedo) did not finish.