Feature06 Jul 2020

Area in focus: postcards from Europe


French distance runner Yosi Goasdoue during lockdown training on the grounds of La Bourdaisiere castle (© AFP/Getty Images)

We conclude our Area in Focus series look at Europe with a selection of images which show how athletes from the area have dealt with the coronavirus pandemic.


Great Britain's middle-distance runner Eilish McColgan 

Scottish middle distance runner Eilish McColgan used part of the lockdown to assess the direction of her career. The two-time Olympian will contest the 5000m at next year's postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo. After that, she's decided, she will switch her attention to the marathon, targeting that event for a fourth Olympic appearance in 2024.


French distance runner Yosi Goasdoue

When a treadmill he purchased in March didn't fit through his door, French distance runner Yosi Goasdoue took a room at the La Bourdaisiere in Montlouis-sur-Loire where he spent the lockdown period training on the chateau grounds. With the chateau's hotel manager confined to his home, Goasdoue also helped with some of the castle's day-to-day duties.

Irish sprinter Brian Gregan

Sprinter Brian Gregan during a training session at the Sport Ireland Campus in Dublin on 19 June. That week, athletes were allowed to return to restricted training under strict protocols set by Athletics Ireland and the Irish Government's Roadmap for Reopening of Society and Business.

German discus thrower Martin Wierig

Pictured here in late March in Magdeburg, discus thrower Martin Wierig in one of his last training sessions before curfew and lockdown restrictions went into effect. The 2012 Olympic and two-time World Championships finalist has yet to compete in 2020.



British marathoner Charlotte Purdue

British marathon runner Charlotte Purdue training alongside the River Thames in East Molesey. The 29-year-old last raced at the Nagoya Marathon on 8 March, but did't finish. One month earlier she finished second at the Marugame Half Marathon where she improved her lifetime best to 1:08:23. She's now targetting April's London Marathon which will serve as the selection race for the Olympic marathon squad.

Swedish high jumper Erika Kinsey

With major event postponement and cancellations, many athletes faced big decisions, high jumper Erika Kinsey among them. In a post on Instagram, the Swede said: "The right decision, but it still hurts. This was supposed to be my last year. Is my career over now, or should I focus on one more year? Choosing between having a family and fulfilling a lifelong dream is not easy."

British hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon

British hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon training alone at the Burnley Athletic Club on 1 June.