Twell back on course after her sickening experience

 

holyrood park

Five days on from London Olympic year, there was a Super Saturday of sorts for Steph Twell to savour. Perhaps it was not quite the kind of day that Jess Ennis, Greg Rutherford and Mo Farah enjoyed in the Olympic Stadium some 425 miles down the road from Scotland's capital on 3 August last year. But after the trauma that the Commonwealth 1500m runner endured in 2012, just being back in a Great Britain vest made yesterday a special occasion for the 23-year-old from the Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletics Club.

"I'm really happy that I'm back," said Twell, after finishing 13th in the women's 6km race in the Bupa Great Edinburgh Cross Country meeting, 52 seconds behind the victorious Fionnuala Britton from Ireland. "I'm slowly getting back to where I was… it's been a tough 12 months."

It has that. If Ennis was the pin-up girl for London 2012, Twell was the pin girl. For seven years, ever since the Games was awarded to London, she wore a pin badge bearing the logo attached to her vest, just to remind herself of the purpose of her daily toil in training and racing. When it came to the crunch last summer, though, with her right ankle already pinned together following a triple fracture in 2011, she suffered a stress fracture to the same foot and missed the selection boat.

Not that she missed out on the London 2012 experience. "I was actually there on Super Saturday," Twell said. "I got to see Jess, Greg and Mo. It was quite funny, because I'd had a Thai curry at the stadium and got food poisoning. I started feeling a bit queasy and faint.

"I saw Mo's first two laps in the 10,000m, then ran to the toilet and was literally puking up. When I came back I was standing in the gangway breathing into a sick-bag, watching Mo run the last five laps. I had to watch it – and it was electrifying. It was the highlight of the year."

It says much about the admirable individual Twell happens to be that she swallowed her disappointment and embraced the 2012 experience, sick-bag and all. Four years earlier she had competed aged 18 in the Olympic 1500m heats in Beijing.

After battling back from the triple ankle fracture, her selection hopes came to grief when she broke down while warming up for the 5,000m at the European Championships in Helsinki in June.

"It just wasn't meant to be," she said. "But I'm glad that it gave me an incentive and purpose for four years of my life, and I'm glad that I still got to celebrate the Games.

"I was in tears when I heard that [athletics captain] Dai Greene had mentioned me in his team speech. For him to use me as motivation for all those athletes… it made me feel like I was part of it in some way."

The former world junior 1500m champion is now a part-time athlete, and part-time worker with a children's fitness company, having been dropped from the Lottery funding list. She is not the type to do bitterness, but the decision did come as a jolt – as did the insistence of Charles van Commenee, the now former head coach of UK Athletics, that she ran a time trial before the European Championships, something which Twell feels exacerbated her ankle problem.

"It could have been managed a bit better," she said. "But there is nothing I can do about it now. It's not something I'm going to linger on. I'm just happy to be back in a GB vest and looking to the future."

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
tv

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Data Analyst / Marketing Database Analyst

£24000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Analyst – 2 year fixed term contract – Kent – Circa £55k

£45000 - £55000 Per Annum 31 days holiday, pension, healthcare, annual bonus: ...

**SEN Primary Teacher Serf Unit **

£110 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Preston: We are looking for an experie...

Experienced Foundation Teacher

£100 - £222 per day: Randstad Education Bristol: We are currently recruiting f...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week