Scottish runner to miss 2013 season but insists Glasgow 2014 remains in her plans
Lee McConnell will not compete during the 2013 season as she has announced she is expecting her first child with husband Craig Bonthron in early November.
The three-time Olympian has won more medals than any other Scottish athlete and has competed at every major championship since 2001, winning nine major championship medals during her 14-year career.
The 34-year-old admitted the news came as a bit of a shock, but said that she will continue to train throughout the pregnancy with the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow remaining in her sights.
“The pregnancy has come as a bit of a surprise but we are absolutely delighted with the news,” said McConnell
“I plan to continue to train throughout the pregnancy but will not be competing this year. With regards to the Glasgow Commonwealth Games I would ideally love to be back on the track but it is going to be a big challenge and will depend on how the pregnancy and birth goes but either way I will certainly be keen to be involved.
“2014 is shaping up to be a really exciting year for me. And it’s all happening in Glasgow! A home Commonwealth Games, my first baby – I’m really excited.”
UK Athletics’ performance director Neil Black commented: “We are really pleased for Lee and her husband Craig, and we will work with her closely on her fitness and return to competition in 2014.”
McConnell was not the only athlete to share pregnancy news on Wednesday, as triple world champion Vivian Cheruiyot also revealed she is expecting her first child later this year.
In a statement Cheruiyot, who won the 5000m and 10000m at the World Championships in Daegu in 2011 as well as the World Cross Country in Punta Umbria, said: “I am very happy to announce that I will take some time off from athletics this year as I am pregnant with my first child.
“I have been running for many years and at 29 feel that now is the right time to start a family.
“Unfortunately I will not be able to defend my World Championships 5000m and 10,000m titles in Moscow,” added Cheruiyot, who also claimed silver in the 5000m and bronze in the 10000m at the London 2012 Olympic Games, “but I will be back for the 2014 season and the 2015 World T&F Championships in Beijing.
“I have already spoken to some of my colleagues who had babies to get advice about when to return to training after giving birth. My long term goal is the 2016 Olympic Games in Beijing and to finally win Olympic gold.”