Stowmarket steeplechaser Emily Moyes part of Team GB U23 bronze medal winning team at European Cross Country Championships
Emily Moyes has returned from the European Cross Country Championships with a Team GB bronze medal.
The 20-year-old from Stowmarket competed as part of a six-woman team at the U23 event in Tilburg, The Netherlands, on Sunday.
It was her first competition for the more senior age group, having previously competed in the U20 category.
She said: “It was amazing to stand up on the podium in a Team GB kit and get that medal.
“Even our coaches weren’t sure we would be able to get a medal, so we’ve really beaten all expectations.
“I was disappointed personally, because I have a horrible cold, I started feeling ill last week – I wasn’t sure the doctor would let me race even.
“So the medal made it all worthwhile. The girls did so well, and I just wish I could have helped more.”
Moyes, who normally competes in the steeplechase track event, finished 45th in a time of 22 minutes and 10 seconds, in her first ever international cross country race.
She said going through the mixed zone – the area in which media gather, to interview athletes post-race – was a novel experience, but one that would prepare her well for future events.
“It’s my first year in the U23 age group,” she said. “And it’s a big step up.
“But I think we maybe under-estimated my goals a little. I set goals of qualifying, but then haven’t really known what to do when I got that.
“So we need to be setting best-case scenario goals, to have a target when I reach the championship.
“I suppose that’s a confidence thing as well.
“It was an amazing experience though. I suddenly found myself sat next to – and getting life advice off – athletes I’ve spent years looking up to.
“And now I will know what to expect from a major cross country championship, if I manage to qualify for next year.”
She said her next focus would be on the 2019 Indoor Athletics Championships in February, where she will target a top finish in either the 3000m steeplechase or 5000m event.
“I haven’t decided yet,” she said. “It will depend on qualifying places, times and which I feel more prepared for.”