Charlotte Purdue keen to prove a point in the London Marathon after Tokyo Olympics snub


Charlotte Purdue keen to prove a point in the London Marathon after using the pain of her Tokyo Olympics snub to prepare for Sunday’s race

  • Charlotte Purdue was ‘deeply hurt’ after being left out of the Tokyo Olympics
  • Purdue claims she was snubbed because of an improper selection process
  • The 30-year-old is the fourth fastest British woman to ever run 26.2 miles











Charlotte Purdue says her saga with UK Athletics has tainted her desire to represent Team GB as she looks to prove a point in Sunday’s London Marathon.

Purdue was snubbed for the Tokyo Olympics because of what she describes as an improper selection process. She appealed, insisting information cited about her fitness was false, but was ultimately unsuccessful in overturning the call.

The 30-year-old’s personal best of 2hr 25.38min at the 2019 London Marathon made her the fourth fastest British woman to ever run 26.2 miles. The winning time in Tokyo, by comparison, was 2:27.20, albeit in humid conditions.

Charlotte Purdue was ‘deeply hurt’ after being controversially left out of the Tokyo Olympics

Purdue said she had used the pain of her Olympics omission as motivation to prepare for the race. She added that she would not rule herself out of representing Team GB entirely but that this had hurt her deeply.

‘It’s definitely tainted my desire,’ Purdue said. ‘Obviously it is an honour to run for Great Britain so I feel like I’ll just kind of move on from this. I would obviously love to represent GB again but definitely, I won’t forget about this whole year and situation.

‘I was gutted. It was a big blow for me because I’d been thinking about Tokyo for so long, trying to make that team and obviously it’s the Olympics.

‘It’s the pinnacle of our sport but, for me, focusing on something else really helped. Once I had the London Marathon to look forward to, I put all my focus into training for that. I tried to focus on that and forget about Tokyo. The point to prove is more to myself, that I’m back to my best rather than me proving to someone else.’

Purdue has used the pain of her Olympics omission as motivation to prepare for Sunday's race

Purdue has used the pain of her Olympics omission as motivation to prepare for Sunday’s race

According to Purdue, one of the false allegations made against her in the selection meeting was that she was running just 30 minutes a day. Purdue wrote to UK Athletics chief Joanna Coates, who replied in March to say she acknowledged her points.

Meanwhile, Purdue said the case of Sarah Everard, the 33-year-old who was tragically kidnapped, raped and murdered, has made her think about training.

She feels it is a sad reality that in 2021, women are unlikely to feel safe enough to run alone after dark: ‘I have been thinking about that a lot for the last few days.’

TV: London Marathon, LIVE on BBC One from 11am Sunday.