Laura Muir secured a brilliant silver as she finally cracked the big stage podium with a British record performance in Tokyo.
Muir has been threatening this graduation for the last six years, finishing fifth, fourth and fifth over 1500m at the last three World Championships and seventh at the Rio Games five years ago.
She came into the final ranked fourth in the world with conventional wisdom suggesting the race was at the mercy of the Netherlands’ Sifan Hassan, seeking an unprecedented distance treble in Tokyo, having already won 5,000m gold.
Muir played her tactics patiently and when the bell rang the five-time British champion was in a group of three, Hassan and Kenya’s Faith Kipyegon tussling at the front.
Kipyegon, defending the title she won in Rio, kicked clear to record a new Olympic record and Muir, head rocking, legs pumping, moved to the shoulder of Hassan and surged away, carving more than a second off her national best in a time of 3:54.50.
Muir, 28, from Milnathort, said: “I don’t know what to say – I’ve worked so hard for so long.
“I’ve been fourth, fifth twice, sixth and seventh every year since 2015 and with everything last year being postponed and not knowing what was going on – I got a silver.
“I just tried to be as best prepared as possible for any situation and I just trained as hard as I could that this would happen and I’ve been so nervous all week. Why is the 1500 at the end?
“I want to thank everyone supporting me, Mum, Dad and Gran for all supporting me at home. And Jemma [Reekie] I couldn’t wish for a better friend and training partner.
“My coach Andy [Young] has sacrificed the last ten years for that four-minute performance.
“It felt like 3:54 because it was hurting – that last 100m, I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared in my life. Someone was going to come past me and I would drop to fourth. I just gave it everything in that last stretch.
“I don’t know if that national record will be broken but that medal is mine.”