Tokyo 2020: Former Doncaster coach 'never had any doubt' in sprint star Beth Dobbin

Beth Dobbin’s steely determination was evident from the first day she stepped onto the track, according to her former coach at Doncaster Athletic Club.

By Paul Goodwin
Saturday, 31st July 2021, 3:02 pm
Updated Saturday, 31st July 2021, 8:17 pm
Beth Dobbin. Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Sprotbrough’s 200m sprinter Dobbin – a former British champion and European Championship finalist – will make her Olympic debut in Tokyo on Monday.

The 27-year-old has overcome epilepsy and, prior to turning professional in 2018, was working 40 hours a week to self-fund her sporting dreams.

John Blackshaw remembers Dobbin as a self-doubting girl who came to train with him at Doncaster Athletic Club at the Keepmoat Stadium – but her determination was second to none.

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“She was just a raw youngster, the same as they all are at that age,” Blackshaw told Sportsbeat.

“A little bit nervous, a bit ‘Am I good enough?’ sort of thing, but I’ll tell you what – I never had any doubt.

“She was one of the easiest young adults I’ve ever had to train.

“Beth always had the determination to do what she wanted to do. If I turned around and said I was training at six o’clock on a Sunday morning, Beth would have been there.

Beth Dobbin, pictured in action during her younger days for Doncaster. Photo: Andy Davies

"As she got older and she had to deal with her epilepsy, we cut back the training when she knew she wasn’t in a good spot and on nights where she was, we added a little bit more,” he added.

“She was quite happy to go through that process.”