Emelia Gorecka admitted 2015 was a whole new beginning after she put the demons of last year’s European disappointment behind her to claim her first senior career title at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on Saturday.
The 20-year-old finished the 6km race in Holyrood Park in 21 minutes 26 seconds, edging out Ireland’s Fionnuala Britton and Ethiopia’s Tirhas Gebre into second and third respectively.
The victory was particularly rewarding for Gorecka who had suffered disappointment at last month’s European Cross Country Championships, finishing in 12th place in a race won by teammate Gemma Steel.
However the fortunes were almost reversed in Glasgow as Steel could only manage 11th, four places behind fellow second best GB finisher Lily Partridge, with Gorecka left to take top honours in what she described as the best race of her career.
She said: “A lot of people said after the European Cross Country Championships ‘what happened?’ I just had to put it behind me and the best way to bounce back is have one of the best performances of my career. Particularly with the conditions and not knowing how I was going to run, I couldn’t have wished for anything better.
“I didn’t decide to make a move until my coach shouted at me and as soon as he did that, the sleet started coming down but all I had to do was dig in and not go backwards. It was a case of strength and not speed and I just had to stay strong and keep ploughing on.
“To run domestic races is fantastic but to perform well on an international stage is what I want to start doing a lot more often and consistently.
“I’ve started off on a brand new slate and that’s what I wanted and I think that’s the right mental attitude to have.”
© Sportsbeat 2015