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McCOLGAN: OF TOUGH THE TRACK; LONDON 2012 KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY.

Byline: ALEX SPINK

LIZ McCOLGAN last night spoke of her pride at seeing daughter Eilish go from injury hell to Olympic heaven.

The former World 10,000m champion's oldest child capped an astonishing career comeback in Oslo by running inside the Olympic qualifying time for the 3,000m steeplechase.

She did so less than 10 months after lying inconsolable in bed, nursing a shattered foot and a fistful of broken dreams.

"Olympic A (standard), UK under-23 record, Scottish record and a new PB! Yaaay!" Eilish tweeted following her 9:38.45 run on Thursday. "Definitely a lot more to come."

Her joyful mood was shared by mum who declared: "I'm so proud, both as a coach and a mother. I can't quite get my head round what Eilish has achieved after all she's been through."

Rewind to last August when McColgan Jnr ran the race of her life at Crystal Palace to qualify for the World Championships, but in so doing was seriously injured.

"Never have I been so depressed and down in my entire life," she admitted in the tearful aftermath. "One minute I was so excited to be in the best physical shape ever, the next split second it's all over."

Significant damage had been done when McColgan landed awkwardly in the water, two laps from the finish. She didn't stop of course. That's not in her family DNA. "As soon as my foot hit the ground I heard a massive 'pop' and a massive pain shot up my leg," she recalled.

"Through adrenaline I got to the next barrier but every step my foot was absolutely killing me and I was crying whilst running.

"At the finish all the first aiders and physios were telling me it couldn't be broken as I wouldn't have been able to keep running on it. How wrong they were."

She had broken her navicular bone and was told that vichat not only must she spend three months off her feet to allow it to heal, she would have to learn to jump off her other foot.

A fortnight ago, six months shy of her 22nd birthday, she finally made her return to the steeplechase. Predictably she was off her Palace pace. x nd ade hase.

But on Thursday night it was a different story. The girl born only months before her mum was crowned world champion in Tokyo, ran six seconds inside her lifetime best. "To do the Olympic qualifying time and a massive PB in only her second race of the season is reward for all her hard work," said Liz.

She still needs a top-two finish at the Olympic Trials but only Barbara Parker has a better time for the event.

CAPTION(S):

AGONY Eilish suffers broken foot MAKING MUM SMILE Proud mother Liz McColgan RUNS IN THE FAMILY Eilish gives mum a hug in 1993
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 9, 2012
Words:477
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