Neil Gourley recalls moment he 'literally couldn't walk' just months ahead of Olympics as Scot reveals full scale of scare

-Credit: (Image: Getty)
-Credit: (Image: Getty)


Neil Gourley feared his Olympics dream was set to crash due to injury for a second successive time - after he got out his car and discovered he couldn’t walk.

The Scots 1500m ace clinched his spot on Team GB for Paris with a brilliant win at the UK Championships in Manchester last week and is now looking forward to his first taste of the Games.

But that journey looked like mission impossible little over four months ago when the 29-year-old was struck down by an agonising pelvis injury.

Gourley, who missed the last Olympics in Tokyo after suffering a torn calf in the build-up, said: “In February I couldn’t walk, put it that way. The way it had presented itself, I had some mild pain in my glute and I’d gone for a drive.

“I’d driven two hours after a bit of a painful run in the morning but nothing out of the ordinary. I got out the car and quite literally couldn’t walk any more.

“Something had snapped. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. It was coming over a long period of time. For weeks I couldn’t walk without pain. It was only March I started being pain free and then April that I started running.

“I’ve come a long way in a short period of time and surprised myself.”

Gourley had to watch the 2021 Games on his TV at home, knowing he should have been on the track competing.

It’s a miserable memory that pushed him to ensure he will be lining up alongside Scots ace Josh Kerr and Jakob Ingebritson in the Stade de France in just over three weeks’ time.

The Giffnock North runner took the gold medal in Manchester last week with a time of 3.37.67 to cross the line ahead of George Mills. He had his spot for Paris confirmed on Friday.

And he couldn’t hide his delight with the pain on 2021 still all too clear.

He said: “I was sitting watching the last Olympics at home, upset I wasn’t there. I felt like I had been in the shape to do so but I got injured at the wrong time. It happens.

“It’s hard to deal with but the only way to turn it into a positive is to use it in moments like this when you are healthy. I would be lying if I said I there weren’t moments when I was doubting it.

“Back in February/March in particular was pretty low after I had the stress reaction in my sacrum.

“There were moments where I thought ‘I’m not going to have enough time here’. I reframed it into day by day and lost sight of where I needed to be.

“I thought ‘let’s see where this ends up’ and I came round a lot faster than I thought.”