'Ecstatic' Beth Dobbin goes from working 40 hours a week to the Tokyo Olympics
Doncaster sprinter Beth Dobbin sealed her qualification for her first Olympic Games – and then took a moment to proudly reflect on her rapid rise in the sport.
The 27-year-old finished second in the 200m final at the British Championships in Manchester on Sunday to guarantee her Team GB spot for Tokyo.
Dobbin was still working 40 hours a week in 2018 before her breakthrough season saw her turn professional.
After clocking 23.07 into a strong headwind to finish just behind Jodie Williams, the Doncaster Athletic Club graduate expressed her pride and also paid tribute to coach Leon Baptiste, later tweeting he had ‘performed a miracle’.
"I’m ecstatic,” said Dobbin.
“If you could have told nine-year-old Beth that she’d be going to the Olympic Games it just would’ve been something I would never have believed.
“Even in 2016 I think I’d only been under 24 seconds once – my personal best was 23.94 – so these last five years my coach has done such a good job and I’ve worked so hard.
“I’ve literally dedicated my life to this.
“I know I’m not the most talented athlete he has probably ever coached but I’ve worked so hard and I’ve booked my ticket on the plane to Tokyo so I’m really happy.”
Dobbin has won plenty of admirers for her hard-working spirit, bubbly personality and also her openness about suffering from epilepsy.
She has overcome several challenges to reach the pinnacle of her sport but says the last 12 months have been the most difficult as Covid threatened to ruin her Olympic dream.
"Everyone always says you’ve been through a lot but nothing has been quite as difficult as this last year,” she said.
“I’ve really had to dig deep because when your dreams are kind of snatched away from you like they were because of the pandemic – and I know obviously a lot of worse things are going on – it was really tough to handle, especially because my training was going so well.
“This winter was so tough to grind through it and get it done.
“I’ve really dug deep, I’ve done the job, I’m going to the Olympics and I can’t ask for much more.”
Dobbin is the daughter of former Doncaster Rovers midfielder Jim Dobbin.