Laura Muir ran a brilliant 1500m to win bronze at the World Championships, and said she had to give everything to secure her podium place.
The Scot won her first World Championships medal at Hayward Field, running a season’s best three minutes 55.28 seconds to come third behind Kenya’s Olympic champion Faith Kipyegon and Ethiopia’s Gudaf Tsegay.
In a tough race in Eugene, Oregon, Muir was part of an early breakaway pack with Kipyegon, Tsegay and HIrut Meshesha and though the latter fell back in the final stages, Muir said that past experience had left her determined not to let her place slip.
“I’ve been fourth, fifth twice and sixth at the World Championships, I was so scared being third and someone was going to pass me,” she said.
“That’s what happened in London 2017, I was second and came fourth. I was like ‘this isn’t happening again’. I was going to give absolutely everything until I got to that line.
“Everything hurt. That last 100m my legs were just on fire. I felt like I couldn’t lift them, I was running in treacle. Everything was burning.
“But I knew if I got to the finish line it was going to stop. I was very, very tired when I did get to the line but that’s what you want to be, knowing you’ve given absolutely everything. If I’d got to the finish line, not given absolutely everything and lost I’d have been absolutely devastated.”
The success comes just months after injury threatened to stop Muir even participating at the championships. A stress fracture to her femur in February meant a spell on the sidelines and a tough recovery programme in order to be ready.
“It was the most significant injury I’ve ever had in my running career. For two months I couldn’t run,” she said.
“That was very, very frustrating, especially as I was going so well in January.
“With the champs being almost a month earlier than normal as well it meant I had about three months less time to prepare than normal. So not ideal. I just knew I had to have a lot of confidence in myself and my team that we would be able to get back that. We did it and we got that medal.
“I was diagnosed with a stress reaction of the femur start of February, that was two weeks on crutches. Then another six weeks of just in the pool, in the gym, alt-Gs, anti gravity treadmills, tiny runs on grass, slightly longer runs. We gradually got there.
“We were lucky we caught it early. We knew something wasn’t right. We got some advanced imaging. We found out what it was quite quickly. Had it been a fracture it would have been me out for a long, long time.
“It was lucky it was a stress response. Even so it was in an area of the bone where you do have to offload it a lot.”
The 29-year-old will next don Team Scotland colours for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and says she wants to complete a special set of medals.
“One more,” she said. “I’ve got the Commonwealths to get.
“I started in my running career wanted to run all six champs, I’ve done that, then make the final of all six, I’ve done that.
“Now I want to win a medal at all six. It’s five down one to go.”
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