The Scottish sprinter stormed to 200m success at the British Championships to also secure her first GB vests
Beth Dobbin continues to reap the rewards of six years of hard training under coach Leon Baptiste, with her latest impressive performance resulting in a British 200m title and two GB vests.
The 24-year-old first broke Sandra Whittaker’s Scottish 200m record of 22.98 set at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics with a time of 22.84 at a UK Women’s League Premier Division match in Eton at the start of June.
A week later she further improved by a hundredth of a second at the Stockholm Diamond League.
At the Müller British Athletics Championships in Birmingham Dobbin went quicker still, clocking 22.75 in her heat and then 22.59 into a -1.3m/s headwind in the final to smash the championship record and book her places on the British teams for both the Athletics World Cup in London and the European Championships in Berlin.
“I just can’t believe it,” said Dobbin, who started working with double Commonwealth Games gold medallist Baptiste in 2012.
“Everyone has been saying since Eton ‘you’re going to win trials’ but I thought no, because the girls that I’m racing against are a different level. But I’ve won trials, I can’t believe it. It’s a dream come true.
“I have dreamt for six years of getting a GB vest and I’ve never been good enough or always just missed out and I’ve just really not given up on it.
“Sometimes you feel a bit stupid, putting all this effort in when you’re an average athlete but the last few years I’ve just come on. I’ve believed in myself, my coach really believes in me. I work so, so hard on and off the track. It’s not been easy. But I get to go to the World Cup, I get to go to the Europeans and I’m British champion!”
On what she can put her improvements down to, she added: “It’s six years with a coach, I think that makes a difference. He knows me inside out. I’ve improved every year under him but no one has really seen it because it has gone under the radar, I’ve never been good enough. This year has been huge improvements.”
With the opportunity to have four British athletes entered for the European Championships women’s 200m, with UK record-holder Dina Asher-Smith the defending champion, Dobbin is expecting great things from the squad.
“I want 50 per cent Brits in the European final,” she said, “that is what we need, so I hope the selectors make sure there’s four of us there – me, Dina, Bianca (Williams) and hopefully they pick Jodie (Williams) as well. If we’re all in that final, it’s going to be great. Hopefully a Brit one-two-three.”
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