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5 March 2007 PR 07/26

Fifth place at European indoors could signal end of Dobriskey’s bitter-sweet 12 months

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lisa Dobriskey’s reaction to her fifth-placed finish in the European indoor athletics championships 3000 metres final at the weekend could really summarise her past 12 months.

“Yes, bitter sweet is a good description,” Dobriskey said after she ran eight minutes 47.25 seconds to knock almost seven seconds off her personal best time and finish fifth behind Poland’s Lidia Chojecka.

“I think I panicked a bit after about 10 laps (2000 m) and moved up too fast,” the Loughborough University-trained Dobriskey added of taking it upon herself to close the gap between the bunch and a breakaway group.

“I should have eased up a bit more slowly but I felt the pace was moving on and I didn’t want to miss the jump and be sprinting off the back for the rest of the race.

“If I’d held a little bit back then I may have been a bit stronger but the problem is you never know when they’re going to go and you can get run out of it. It’s a PB, so I can’t really ask for anything more than that.”

Despite finishing outside the medals, Dobriskey said the event had given her confidence heading into the outdoor season and a chance to vindicate her bitter sweet previous 12 months.

Last March, Dobriskey stormed past five others in the home straight to win the Commonwealth 1500m gold medal in Melbourne. Then, just as she looked to grab the world’s attention, her season slowly unravelled as she struggled with what eventually transpired to be a stress fracture of her thigh.

“I felt a little bit like a fraud coming back from the Commonwealths. It was a slow race and then I got quite a serious injury and I never really got the chance to prove myself on the world scene and didn’t run the times I should have run.”

After having the injury treated, Dobriskey however, started her winter training and decided with the University’s director of athletics George Gandy, to enter the European indoor championships to gauge where she was in terms of her competitive rehabilitation.

“I wasn’t planning on doing the indoors but because of the injury and they took the short course out of the world cross country championships, we stuck this in just to keep me competitive.

“This is a good reflection of how things are going and its nice to mark how things are going in training. You can do the sessions but it doesn’t always show where you’re going.

“I’d like to think I’m a championship performer and hopefully this will bring me forward. I think this has been brilliant preparation for the 1500m and I’m going to use it for the summer.”

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Notes to editors
Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough in the top five among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

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