Beth Still Making History Three Years on From Games Milestone

April 13, 2021

At Gold Coast 2018, Beth Potter became the first athlete to compete in two sports for Team Scotland at a single Games, competing in the Triathlon individual event and team relay, before going on to compete in Athletics in the 10,000m. Three years on she is still making headlines in both sports.

Best known as a track endurance athlete, finishing 5th in the 10,000m at Glasgow 2014 and running at both the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 World Athletics Championships, she was selected to make her Commonwealth Games debut as a triathlete in Gold Coast following a successful transition to the sport. Competing at international level in multiple sports at any point in an athlete’s career is unusual enough, but Beth made history as she finished 12th in the Individual Triathlon and 7th in the Mixed Team event before lining up in the 10,000m for her second sport at the same Games.

Following Gold Coast she has gone from strength to strength in Triathlon with several top-ten finishes at World Cup events culminating in a gold medal winning performance at the 2019 European Championships and silver at the European Sprint Duathlon Championships in March 2020.

Recent weeks have seen her show her versatility once again, winning gold at the Super League Triathlon Arena Games in London at the end of March, followed by an astonishing performance over 5km on the road in Barrowford two weeks later. Her time of 14:41 beat the world record set by Beatrice Chepkoech by two seconds and Paula Radcliffe’s British best by 10 seconds, but is unlikely to stand as an official record as the low-key nature of the event meant there weren’t sufficiently qualified timekeepers or drug testers on site.

Speaking to Athletics Weekly, Beth said she would have been satisfied to break her personal best of 15:24 and her performance had surprised even herself. “I thought the clock was out,” she said. “I was shellshocked to be honest. I thought 15:15 would be a really good run for me because I’ve been focusing on other parts of my training this year.”

She is clearly an athlete in form but will likely have to wait until 2024 for her chance at an Olympic Games Triathlon, with the team for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Games having already been selected at the end of 2019. With her time over 5km on the road, a return to the track for a shot at an Olympic place in Tokyo over 5,000m or 10,000m is not out of the question and, looking ahead, she could be a strong contender for Team Scotland in either sport for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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