RTE Monday, 7 April 2008 12:04 Jo Pavey returns to her South African training base on Tuesday convinced her Olympic preparations are gathering momentum after a slight setback last month. The 34-year-old Olympic 10,000m medal hopeful finished runner-up in Sunday’s Great Ireland Run after losing a close race to Kenya’s Doris Changeywo in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
However, Pavey believes her time of 32 minutes 22 seconds in tough conditions was a fair reflection of the condition she is in.
‘Doris was obviously in good shape given her fourth position at the World Cross Country the previous weekend and it showed when she just pulled away from me on the steepest part of the course,’ said Pavey.
‘I’ve never been a great hill runner but once we got back on to the flat I felt I was making ground upon her.
‘I was concentrating on catching her but really, given her strength, there was no way it was going to happen.
‘But it’s nice to be back racing at this level and the result shows I’m travelling in the right direction going into the summer season.’
Pavey returns to the high altitude of Dullstroom with husband and coach Gavin for the next month but believes her Dublin display was encouraging.
‘Yesterday showed how road races over 10 kilometres – the distance I will run in Beijing – are good preparation events,’ she added.
Abraham Chebii made it a double success for Kenya as he defended his Great Ireland title, winning by three seconds from former countryman Abdullah Ahmad Hassan in 28mins 48secs.
Hassan, who has run in Qatar’s colours since 2003, was followed home by seven-time European Cross Country champion Sergiy Lebid