Scotland’s Eilish McColgan upsets Kenya’s Irine Cheptai in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m, matching her mother Liz Nuttall – Michmutters

Scotland’s Eilish McColgan upsets Kenya’s Irine Cheptai in the Commonwealth Games 10,000m, matching her mother Liz Nuttall

The women’s 10,000m race in Birmingham has produced one of the iconic moments of the Commonwealth Games, with Scotland’s Eilish McColgan upsetting the odds to emulate her mother Liz Nuttall by taking gold in the event.

The pair had an emotional embrace in the stands after the race, which saw McColgan break the Commonwealth Games record.

Nuttall (formerly Liz McColgan), won the women’s 10,000m world title and the 10,000m crown at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in 1986.

She went on to successfully defend her title in Auckland four years later. In the process she set a Commonwealth Games record for the event of 31 minutes 41.42 seconds.

A Scottish athlete runs to the shoulder of a Kenyan rival on the final corner of a 10,000m final, as both runners grimace.
Eilish McColgan and Irine Cheptai gave it everything in a thrilling final lap of the women’s 10,000m final, before McColgan came away to win.(Getty Images: Al Bello)

Thirty two years on, her daughter came into the 10,000m facing the task of beating favorite Irine Cheptai of Kenya.


The 25-lap race was a tactical battle, with McColgan lifting the slow early pace before it evolved into an elite group of six, that then became a group of three with Cheptai and compatriot Sheila Chepkirui Kiprotich.

Kiprotich then dropped back with a suspected leg problem, leaving McColgan and Cheptai alone.

The crowd in the Alexander Stadium roared her on, McColgan gritted her teeth and hung in on the final lap as she refused to be broken by the Kenyan runner.

The pair ran down the back straight with Cheptai leading by a meter or so, but McColgan was still there and kept responding to every move.

As they ran towards the final turn, McColgan was on her shoulder and the crowd noise grew again.

The Scottish runner seemed to lose balance slightly but regathered herself for one last push entering the straight. She finally drew level and then moved in front.

Both women were on the limit, but McColgan had enough in reserve to draw ahead in the final stages and sprint clear for gold.

Team Scotland's Eilish McColgan celebrates her gold medal in the women's 10,000m
The emotions were high for Eilish McColgan as the Scottish runner brought the house down with a stirring win in the 10,000m, like her mother had 32 and 36 years previously.(Getty Images: David Ramos)

She raised her arms in triumph as she crossed the line, then the tears flowed for McColgan as she tried to process the fact she had won.


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