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.
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.
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.
McColgan stopped the clock in a time of 30:48.60, smashing the existing Games record by nearly 40 seconds — another Kenyan, Selina Kosgei, had broken Nuttall’s mark at the Manchester Games in 2002.
As the crowd went crazy, she waved to the stands, while draped in a Scottish flag.
McColgan then ran over to her mother in the stands, and the pair embraced as first McColgan and then Nuttall teared up.
The Scottish team has now won seven gold medals in Birmingham.