Paula Radcliffe hails Jemma Reekie’s impressive recent record-breaking form
Marathon star Paula Radcliffe has celebrated Jemma Reekie’s record-breaking start to the year, with the 21-year-old Scot’s hard work under coach Andy Young clearly paying off.
Reekie recently broke three British records in the space of a week, first improving Jenny Meadows’ indoor 800m mark with a time of 1:57.91 in Glasgow and then adding national indoor 1500m and mile marks of 4:00.52 and 4:17.88 respectively to her CV following a thrilling race in New York.
The latter two records had previously been held by Reekie’s friend and training partner Laura Muir and Radcliffe believes that success is sure to have inspired success within that coaching set up.
“She’s running really well and I’m really happy for her because I think she has worked really hard,” said former world marathon record-holder Radcliffe.
“When you start to run better then your confidence gets better and you believe you can go out and compete with the other girls and it is producing some great racing.
“She has probably fed off seeing what Laura could do and what (Canadian record-holder) Gabriela DeBues-Stafford was doing and just thought ‘well if I’m training with them and I’m keeping up with them in training then of course I can produce that in a race’.”
Reekie has also paid credit to Muir, saying in New York that the four-time European indoor gold medallist had taught her everything she knows.
“I came to her at such a young age and she took me straight under her wing,” said Reekie.
“Slowly I’ve crept up on her. She knows how hard I work and I appreciate how great an athlete she is. On and off the track I couldn’t ask for a better training partner and friend.”
Reekie also talked more about the sinus operation she had late last year in an attempt to end the time out through illness she has had to endure over the past few years.
“I think now a lot of her improvement is the fact that because she has had that sinus problem sorted out,” added Radcliffe.
“She is probably just sleeping better, recovering better and can breathe better while she is actually running.
“It’s just a shame for her that the World Indoors have moved to next year because the form she is in now, it would have been really great for her, but you completely understand why they have done that (postponed the event in China by a year).”
Next up for Reekie is Saturday’s Müller Indoor Grand Prix on home soil in Glasgow where she will race the 1500m, going up against training partner DeBues-Stafford and Ethiopia’s 2016 world indoor silver medallist Dawit Seyaum.
Radcliffe will be among those covering the event as part of the BBC’s commentary team, with the action televised on BBC One from 13:15.
Click here for an event preview and see the February 13 edition of AW for more.
» Jemma Reekie quotes via James Walker for AW in New York