Forty-year-old mother of two Jo Pavey denied Kenya a clean sweep in the 5,000 metres by taking a hugely gutsy bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Saturday night.
The Devon athlete, who won silver at the Melbourne Commonwealths eight years ago, led through the last three laps, but looked like she had been dropped with 200 metres to go.
But on a track sodden from heavy rain she kicked brilliantly to shock Muriuki and come within a whisker of chasing down Janet Kisa, 19 years her junior, before crossing the line in 15mins 8.96secs.
Mercy Cherono claimed the gold.
“It feels a bit surreal really, to be honest, especially when I crossed the line,” Pavey said. “I didn’t believe I had a medal - I had to look at the scoreboard.
“I tried to think, ‘Just don’t regret this’. It’s so easy to think, ‘Oh, they are Kenyans, they’re so good’. I thought no, keep focusing and just try to beat them. I’m so happy.”
Pavey’s son Jacob was in the stadium to watch his mother and Pavey said: “It’s really special to think my little boy is watching me. We debated whether to bring my little girl, but I really worried she’d be terrified as she is only 10 months old.
“It’s a really lovely atmosphere and I’m really happy. I didn’t know how realistic it would be to run well, but I just wanted to run hard and see what happened.
“It’s really special to think that I am 40, and a mum with two children (including) a 10-month-old baby. That’s what seems almost funny to me. All the support I’ve had has allowed me to do it.
“It’s been a tough summer because the track in Exeter has been shut all summer for resurfacing. There’s been a lot of driving to get to Yeovil and Plymouth. I just didn’t think it would result in medal. It’s unbelievable, I’m just so happy and grateful to everybody.”
There was another bronze for England’s women’s 4x400m relay team, the quartet of Christine Ohuruogu, Shana Cox, Kelly Massey, Anyika Onuora coming home some way behind winners Jamaica and silver medallists Nigeria.