Helen Teresa Clitheroe is this week’s featured female Olympic athlete. One of Britain’s best hopes for a medal this summer at London 2012, she will be competing in middle and long distance running.
For the Beijing Olympics, Helen achieved the Olympic A qualifying standard for the 3000 m steeplechase at the Iberoamericano meeting, in Huelva on June 13, 2008, where she finished 8th in a time of 9:43.56. Her place in the British team for the Games was confirmed when she won the British trials in a new national record time of 9:36.98. At the Games she finished sixth in her heat and did not advance to the next round of competition, despite beating her own national record with a time of 9:29.14.
Helen completed a spell of high-altitude in Iten, Kenya and then went on to enjoy her greatest success at the Aviva International Match in January 2011, where she won the gold despite being without lottery funding for a year. At the age of 37, Helen is the eldest woman to have won the medal by four years. Her experience and ability led to her being named Team GB captain.
She has gone from strength to strength in the last two years and goes in to London 2012 in fine form. Helen will be the eldest competitor in athletics by quite some margin, but it her undeniable passion and commitment to her support will no doubt give her a huge boost. As will the home crowd who will no doubt show their full support for Team GB’s captain.