Pavey targets qualifying times for London Games
By Exeter Express and Echo | Friday, May 25, 2012, 06:45
JO Pavey is planning to run in two races in four days next week in a bid to nail down Olympic qualification times for the 5,000m and 10,000m.
Qualifying time: Exeter Harrier Jo Pavey
But the Exeter Harrier has already set a qualifying time over the 5,000m – setting the best time by a European this season with her first race on the track in two years.
Pavey, who lives in Tiverton, went to the British Milers' Club meeting in Manchester on Saturday and won in 15mins 14.19secs – inside the 15.15 A-standard qualifying time for this summer's Games.
But the 38-year-old revealed that was just meant as a warm-up race for her ahead of next Thursday's Diamond League meeting in Rome, when she hopes to run quicker in a high-class 5,000m.
On Sunday, June 3 she will then compete over 10,000m at the European Cup in Bilbao, Spain, in an attempt to set a quick time over the longer distance. The Olympic A standard time is 31.45.
With the Olympic trials at the end of June, when Pavey is set to go over 10,000m once more, the Honiton-born athlete is hoping to secure her place on team GB, having missed out on a place in the marathon.
Pavey said: "The plan is to go to Rome for the Diamond League over 5,000 and the 10,000 that I have lined up is only three days after that.
"It would seem a bit of a crazy race plan but it's just the way it's turned out. Before the trials it's the only Diamond League 5,000 I can do and it would be a big opportunity to turn down.
"There's a bit of travelling involved to get to Bilbao for the 10,000 so it's not ideal but I want to try, to the best of my ability, to ensure a good time over both distances.
"Fortunately I've got an A-standard time in the 5,000 but I'd love to try to run a quicker time if I can in Rome.
"Running races so close together is not ideal but when you're trying to ensure qualification for the Olympics you can only go with the races that are available."
Pavey is keeping her options open over which distance to target ahead of the London Games. She finished 12th in the 5,000m in Sydney in 2000, fifth over the same distance in Athens in 2004 and four years ago was 12th in the 10,000m in Beijing.
"At this stage it isn't obvious to me which event I would be best-placed in," she said.
"First of all I just want to make sure I get selected for either the five or the 10, that's why I don't want to turn down any opportunities I've got at this stage.
"I'm thinking about the 10. Over the years I've had a slightly higher global position in the 10, only by one place, but I've still got some unfinished business in the 10 as my PB in the 5k (14.39.96) is a better PB than the 10k one (31.12.30).
"It's the London Olympics so you just want to try to ensure you're there for either or. At this stage I want to ensure qualification and then we'll have the trials and see what happens."
Pavey has focused on road racing for the last couple of years as she built up to making her marathon debut in London last year, finishing in 2:28.24.
That was below the Olympic qualifying standard but she missed out on a place at the Olympics as Claire Hallissey clocked 2:27.44 in the London Marathon last month and was selected as the final member of the team behind Paula Radcliffe and Mara Yamauchi.
Pavey has enjoyed turning her attentions back to the track and was pleased to run so fast in Manchester last weekend in conditions that weren't ideal for quick times.
"Having not raced on the track for two years, I didn't want to go to a Diamond League meeting and that be my first race back on the track," she said.
"I was looking for something that would be good as a warm-up, I wanted to run hard and get some track racing done, so to get an A-standard time was a bonus.
"I was fairly pleased because I was a bit daunted when I got there and it was cold and windy. It didn't feel like the right conditions to be racing.
"I got out there and got on with it and was pleasantly pleased to get the A standard. There are no guarantees yet but it's a start to have an A standard and to know I can still run on the track – it made me feel a lot younger again.
"Track running is what I love, it was nice to get back to it. I still see myself long-term as a marathon runner but it's nice to have the opportunity to do a bit of track again at this stage of my career."