European 10,000m gold medallist Jo Pavey (coach: Gavin Pavey) will miss the forthcoming IAAF World Championships in Beijing this August.
The 41 year old, who became the oldest ever female European champion in Zurich last summer, believes the decision to miss this year’s major championships will benefit her in a number of ways in the build-up to the Olympic Games in Rio next year.
Pavey said: “I have given much thought to the forthcoming world championships in Beijing this summer. I have come to the decision that I will sit out the championships this year to focus all my efforts on the Rio Olympic Games. Travelling to a major championships that are far from home requires a lengthy period away to adjust to the time zones and climatic conditions.
“A large chunk of last summer was taken up with the Commonwealth Games and European Championships. If I were to compete in both Beijing and Rio it would mean three summers in a row with lengthy periods focused on championship running. I feel this is not a good balance for my kids and so I am going to stay at home in 2015. In addition to this, I am also aware that I need to look after myself if I want to qualify for Rio. Without a championship this year I can back off a little and enjoy my racing which I feel will give me a much better chance of running well in 2016.
“I trained extremely hard during 2014 and I believe if I push as much again this year I will increase the risks of not being at my best for 2016. Also, I am aware that conditions in Beijing might be hot, humid and potentially have high pollution levels. On balance, and taking everything in to consideration, I think it is a good decision for me personally to miss the World Championships. It’s a very tough decision as I really love championship racing. However, I am really looking forward to running some road races here in the UK and a few of the Diamond League track races.”
British Athletics’ Performance Director, Neil Black said: “We are fully supportive of Jo’s wishes not to be considered for selection for the IAAF World Championships in Beijing. With a young family and the pressures that come with maintaining that professional and personal life balance we look forward to seeing her on the domestic and Diamond League circuit this summer.
“Jo had a fantastic 2014 and the end goal of this cycle is the Olympic Games next summer. The ultimate objective for her is to secure selection for Rio and we will be doing everything we can to support her journey to what would be her fifth Games.”