Nothing but a number: 42-year-old Jo Pavey seeks elusive medal in fifth Olympics at Rio 2016

Teddington resident and former European Champion runner Jo Pavey is seeking a first Olympic medal in Rio at 42 years old.

Her selection for a fifth successive Olympics makes her Team GB’s most experienced track athlete and the oldest British woman to run in a games.

Pavey qualified for Rio after posting a season’s best 10,000m time of 31:34.61 at the European Championships in Amsterdam.

Fellow Britons Beth Potter and Jess Andrews also qualified and will compete alongside Pavey this afternoon.

Speaking to The Telegraph, Pavey said: “I’m absolutely thrilled. When you’re a young girl dreaming of going to the Olympics, you never think you could be going to five.

“Never in my wildest dreams a few years back did I think I would be competing at the Olympics at my age.”

Pavey’s career success and longevity has only been eclipsed by Paula Radcliffe — she holds the second fasted British times in both the 5,000m and 10,000m behind the retired marathon-specialist.

Her first Olympic appearance was Sydney in 2000, but the distance runner’s international performance has peaked more recently.

A personal best 10,000m time of 30:53:20 in the London Games earned Pavey a seventh place finish.

This was also the second-fastest time ever recorded by an over 35-year-old — and the World Record for this age group according to World Masters Athletics.

In 2014, after winning the 10,000m in the European Championship, the mother of two came third in BBC Sports Personality of the Year and was named British Sports Women of the Year at the SJA Awards.

Her European gold made her the oldest woman to win a gold medal in the history of the championships, beating middle-distance runner Lyubov Gurina’s record by three years.

Catch Pavey, Potter and Andrews in the 10,000m final at 3.10pm.

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