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Olympics 2024: Eilish McColgan aims to prove fitness at European Championships

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Not so long ago, Eilish McColgan was unable to take a step without pain.

The 33-year-old did not doubt she would compete again, but was facing the reality of daily discomfort because of a knee injury. Running would not be fun any more.

The Commonwealth Games 10,000m champion had all but accepted that a fourth appearance at the Olympics looked a forlorn hope after autumn surgery failed to address the lingering problem.

As recently as March, Great Britain’s McColgan was being told by those close to her to write off a late summer medal tilt in Paris. At that stage, she was listening.

And yet on Sunday, the Scot will travel to Rome to take her place in the 10,000m field at the European Athletics Championships.

So what has changed?

“To be honest, just time,” she told BBC Scotland. “I don’t know why the last six weeks have been a huge improvement.

“Until then, I thought I was just going to have to deal with pain on a daily basis for the rest of my life. And that mentally is really, really tough.

“We didn’t really know what the issue was. I had one doctor who had read a scan wrong and was basically saying I might never walk again, never mind run.

“So to go through all that and for Paris now to be a realistic goal, I’ve come a long, long way.”

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