European indoor relay gold medallist Eilidh Child on being named as GB team captain for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot this weekend
When Neil Black (UKA performance director) called me, my immediate thought was: ‘What’s he phoning me for?’ I had no idea and being asked to captain Team GB and NI for a major event isn’t something you really foresee for yourself.
I was able to tell Brian (Doyle, her boyfriend and former sprinter) and my parents and they were all delighted. I think things like this are very special for your mum and dad after the years of effort they put in to help me become an athlete.
When I did have the chance to reflect on the appointment, I did realise I’ve been around Team GB for quite a few years.
I won my first senior vest at a European Team Champs event in 2009 and then went to the World Champs in Berlin that year. I’d been involved with the under-23s a few times prior to that.
So, I guess, looking around I am one of the more experienced members of the team for Poland!
We are all looking forward to it. The women’s 4x400m relay team are title holders so I guess it is understandable if people think we have a decent chance there.
I don’t have the individual to focus on this time and that is definitely strange for me. But I’m happy with where I am at for now. I felt much better after my run in Birmingham than I did after the trials at Sheffield.
I’d an injury which I didn’t think was affecting me and then, after the trials, I had to spend quite a bit of time talking to my coach, Malcolm Arnold. He helped me and so did the sports psychologist I’ve been working with in recent months.
In the past, after a disappointing race I tended to just want to forget all about it and move on. Now I am looking to learn from every race and I actually did take what had happened in Sheffield into Birmingham.
I am hoping to room with Laura Muir in Sopot – I’ve requested it and she has asked, as well, so hopefully that will happen.
There’s a bit of expectation and profile coming to Laura now after some fine performances but she is a level-headed girl and a very intelligent one. I think she is capable of handling the attention but of course I will help her in any way I can. We roomed together for the first time in Gothenburg last year and we get on well.
I don’t know if there’s anything you get to remember your captaincy – like the armband in football. Often athletes do get a vest or a tracksuit top signed by their team-mates when representing Team GB and I would like to do something like that in Poland as a keepsake.
I regard being asked by British Athletics as a major honour and a nice moment in my career.
» You can find an in-depth preview to the IAAF World Indoor Championships in this week’s AW, out Thursday