Beth Dobbin to make ‘dream’ debut for Great Britain at London Stadium

Beth Dobbin. Photo: B&O PRESS PHOTO
Beth Dobbin. Photo: B&O PRESS PHOTO

Beth Dobbin will fulfil a lifetime dream this weekend when she pulls on a Great Britain vest for the first time and gets to race at the iconic London Stadium.

The 24-year-old, from Sprotbrough, recently became British 200m champion in Birmingham with a stunning performance which saw her again twice lower a Scottish record which had stood for 34 years after already breaking it two times in the previous month.

Dobbin took the record down from 22.83 to 22.75 in the heats and then smashed it again with a 22.59 run in the final.

It sealed Dobbin’s place in the European Championship team heading to Berlin next month and has also earned her selection in the new World Cup event which takes place this Saturday and Sunday.

It is a sweet moment for Dobbin, who rejected the chance to run for England as a junior, following the bitter disappointment of not being chosen for Scotland’s Commonwealth Games team.

The daughter of former Celtic and Doncaster Rovers footballer Jim Dobbin will now get to represent GB against United States, Jamaica, France, Germany, Poland, China and South Africa.

“The only big stadium I’ve ever been to for athletics was watching at Hampden for the Commonwealth Games,” said Dobbin.

“To be in that London Stadium will be amazing, it’s become a special place for British athletics with the Olympics and the worlds last year.

“I’ve seen on TV how much support the home athletes get there and I can’t wait to get a taste of it.”

Dobbin’s breakthrough year means she can now look forward to kicking her athletics career on after years of struggling for funding.

“I’m in a different position to a lot of the other athletes. I’ve never had a GB vest, I’m working full-time so that makes it even more special. I feel like I defied the odds,” she said.

There was a squad of 15 family and friends in the Alexander Stadium stands, including her parents, grandad, brother and sister. There was not much time for celebrations though as she was up at 6am on the Monday to work in a school, where she helps children with autism in addition to a reception job at Loughborough University, where she trains after graduating with a psychology degree.

“I didn’t sleep much. I was buzzing. I watched the TV coverage back, God knows how many times my mum and dad have watched it now,” said Dobbin, whose performance was picked out by former Olympic champion Denise Lewis as her highlight of the trials weekend.