Doyle retains her European Masters crown in Venice

Berkhamsted runner Zoe Doyle has again been crowned the European Masters champion in the 1500m after successfully defending her title at the Masters Athletics Championships in Venice.

Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 4:29 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd October 2019, 5:29 pm
Zoe Doyle competing for Britain in the 1500m at the World Masters Championships in Venice last month.

Doyle gradually built up speed over each 100 metres and got to the last bend in the final before switching gear and powering home for a safe win, keeping two Spanish athletes at bay.

She told the Gazette on her return to these shores: “I was delighted to retain my title and be the first Great Britain gold medal of the day in the 1500m races.”

It’s certainly not the first time Doyle has enjoyed Masters medal success.

Doyle was the double World Masters champion last April in the 1500m and 3000m in Poland and the previous August won the 1500m gold at the European Masters Championships in Aarhus, Denmark, when competing in the women’s 35 age category.

She is also now ranked No 1 in the country for both the women’s 40 age group 1500m and 800m.

Doyle also reached the final of the 800m at last month’s championship in Italy, narrowly missing out on a podium place.

She explained: “The 800m heat was on the Wednesday (September 11). I had the number one seed Denise Toner, from Ireland, in my heat and I followed her running a good, but relaxed race, to come second in 2 mins 18 seconds and get automatic qualification to the final.

“The final did not go to plan. I got badly boxed in and I couldn’t get out from 300m to 450m. I eventually had to slow and get around them but the leaders had gone.

“I worked hard but had too much to do to get back to them. I almost made it to third and threw myself at the line but came fourth by 0.08 seconds.

“It was so frustrating but I did get a personal best (PB) time of 2.14.35.

“The race had not gone to plan, but I had given it everything and I was proud of that. Although I did not achieve the PBs I set myself for this season, I am still ending my season on a high.”

Doyle thanked her sponsors, Everyone Active, Ashmei and Ringtons Tea for their continued support.

Her next big events will be the European Indoor Masters Championships in March 2020, which is being held in Braga, Portugal, and the World Outdoor Masters Championships in Canada later in 2020.