Mixed emotions for Jo Pavey after upgrade to 10,000m bronze medal - 'I am thrilled but it's bittersweet'

PA SPORT
Upgraded | Jo Pavey says she is thrilled to be awarded the bronze medal at the 2007 World Championships - even though it's 10 years late: AFP/Getty Images

Jo Pavey was thrilled after it was confirmed she would be upgraded to 10,000 metres bronze at the 2007 World Championships - but said the news left a "bittersweet" feeling.

The 43-year-old is set to receive the first global medal of her career - 10 years late - after being promoted from fourth place at the Osaka championships, with world governing body the IAAF announcing that Turkish silver medallist Elvan Abeylegesse had been disqualified for doping.

The latest list of IAAF doping sanctions revealed Abeylegesse had failed an in-competition test during the championships.

Pavey told the BBC: "It is frustrating. I am thrilled with the news but it is kind of bittersweet because when I think back to those championships I was running as hard as I could, I had got myself in the best shape and it was a hot and humid day. I was in a medal position right until the line but couldn't hold on.

"Instead of being a moment where I was thrilled at getting my first medal, I was lying on the track feeling totally despondent and frustrated, I felt that I had let everyone down."

Pavey, who competed in her fifth Olympics in Rio last year, had an idea the upgrade was coming, with the news emerging in 2015 that Abeylegesse was among the athletes under investigation for doping after samples from the 2005 and 2007 World Championships were retested.

The 2014 European champion, set to race in next month's London Marathon, added on BBC Radio 5 Live: "I had a few years in the prime of my career where I kept just missing out on medals and I almost had to go back to the drawing board and think how I could find that extra.

"How I could not keep getting it just a bit wrong on the day.

"Now I look back and I think about the other medals I might have had and actually I was doing a lot of things right but with the cheats out there it does make it so much more difficult and so frustrating."

Abeylegesse's disqualification means American Kara Goucher, who passed Pavey on the home straight in Osaka, is due to be upgraded to silver.

The Turk will also lose her 5,000m and 10,000 silver medals from the 2008 Olympics.

She has been retrospectively banned for two years from 29 September 2015, while all her results from 25 August 2007 to 25 August 2009 have been annulled.

Abeylegesse's compatriot Gamze Bulut, meanwhile, has been handed a four-year ban for biological passport anomalies and will forfeit all her results from July 2011 onwards, most notably her Olympic 1500m title from London.

She was only promoted to gold after another Turkish athlete, Asli Cakir Alptekin, was disqualified for doping, meaning Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal, who won bronze on the day, is set to became the new Olympic champion.

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