Smashed the Olympic qualifying standard in her first ever race at 5000m
Athens Olympic Final 5.000m, Jo came 5th.
British junior international champion in 1989 at 15.
Name: Joanne Pavey-Davis
Helen Wright, our senior sports researcher, was fortunate enough to grow up with Jo from the ages of 4 until leaving school. Having played alot of sport together and having been lucky enough to have sports teachers that encouraged and supported them a tremedous amount, Jo was outstanding on the track. Helen: "We had a saying - if only we could keep up with her on the track out on cross country", of course they never saw Jo again until the finish line.
She has amazing talent, and it is wonderful to see her competing as and with the best in the world.
Married to middle-distance runner Gavin Pavey and trained as a physiotherapist, she improved at 1500m from 4:21.14 to 4:07.28 After an impressive 3000m debut in 8:58.2 in May 1998, she succumbed to knee injuries and had several operations.
Having enjoyed an injury-free 12 months, Jo was ninth in the Great North CC, her first cross-country race for seven years and was Britain's fourth finisher in the World 4km Cross-Country and third in the Balmoral five miles road race in 25:38. She ran 8:41.89 to win the 3000m at Lille, and, following her gutsy and important second place in the European Cup 5000m, took over five seconds off her six-year-old pb for 1500m with 4:02.03 for fifth in Rome. Two days later she was second at Gateshead in 8:37.97 and then 2nd at 1500m in Madrid in 4:03.91. She was ninth at 5000m in the British Grand Prix in 15:09.04 and decided to run the 1500m at the Worlds. She ran strongly for 4:08.60 in her heat and 4:03.78 in her semi, and challenged hard in the final before fading a little to 10th in 4:03.03. She then won at Rieti in 4:04.46 and competed splendidly at the World Athletics Finals, where she came fourth at 1500m in a pb 4:01.79 and returned the next day for third in the 3000m in 8:37.89. She had cross-country wins at Bristol and in the European CC Trials, but had to drop out of the Championships team through a bout of flu.
|In the summer of 2002 she moved from Bristol to Teddington, looking for better facilities and also rejoined her original club, Exeter Harriers after years with Bristol AC. After a brave European Cup 5000m second place in extreme heat at Annecy, she was 4th in the AAA 1500m in 4:11.16. Although not quite at her best, after suffering from a virus infection, she was 5th at 5000m in both Commonwealth Games and Europeans. Then came splendid runs as she took five seconds off her 3000m best, 4th in Brussels in 8:31.27, and nearly ten seconds off her 5000m best, 4th in Berlin in 14:48.66. She was 3rd for the European team at the World Cup.|
At the end of the year she had an easy win in the London 10km road race in 32:34 in her first race at the distance and despite her dislike the surface took her first international medals with individual bronze and team silver at the European CC Championships. Again competing indoors in 2005, she ran 3000m in 8:42.46 for second in Stuttgart, retained her AAA title in 8:50.28 and was second in Birmingham in 8:41.43.
photo Getty Images
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