Doncaster's Olympic sprinter Beth Dobbin sets personal best target for Tokyo

Doncaster’s Beth Dobbin is aiming to run faster than ever before when she fulfils a lifelong dream by competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Friday, 2nd July 2021, 3:57 pm
Team GB's Beth Dobbin gets kitted out for the Olympics. Photo by Karl Bridgeman/Getty Images for British Olympic Association

Dobbin, who finished second behind Jodie Williams in the 200m at the British Championships in Manchester, will make her Olympic debut after being selected by British Athletics.

The 27-year-old remembers falling in love with the Olympics during the Athens Games in 2004 and has been obsessed ever since.

“I watched Kelly Holmes win gold with my dad. My dad was shouting at the TV. I remember thinking ‘What is going on? What is this?’ Then she won and my dad was going crazy,” said Dobbin, whose exploits in Tokyo will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+.

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“I had butterflies in my stomach. It felt weird. It was like: Oh my god, that was amazing. I want to do that. That was my first ever memory. By the time London 2012 came around I was 18 and I was obsessed with the Olympics.”

Dobbin is rather a late bloomer in athletics terms, not making her senior debut representing Team GB until 2018, and she feels incredibly lucky to be able to compete on sport’s greatest stage.

“It doesn’t happen to many people. Loads of people try, there’s loads of people out there who would love to be an Olympian. I think my mum would love to be an Olympian! It doesn’t mean it’s going to happen,” she said.

“But you just work so hard at it. You make so many sacrifices and it is all just about things aligning like timing, and getting lucky, and getting the opportunity, because anything can happen in sport. I could pick up an injury the week before British Champs and then I would not be sitting here today.

“Everything’s aligned. It is a dream come true. Being an Olympian is something no one can ever take away from you. I just cannot wait to get there. I just want to be on the start line in Tokyo tomorrow.”

With the women’s 200m set to be one of the most exciting events of the track and field calendar, Dobbin has one clear aim heading into Tokyo – to run faster than ever before.

“I think if I can go there and run better than I ever have in my life and perform better than I ever have, I will be happy with that. Whether that is getting into the semi-finals or getting into the final, I will be happy with that,” Dobbin said.

“I would like to run a personal best. I do think if you can run a personal best anywhere, it would be amazing to be at the Olympics. I’m going to get some really good training in between now and then to ensure that happens.”

Stream every unmissable moment of Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 live on discovery+.