Eilidh Doyle has today announced her retirement from athletics, following a distinguished career which has seen her win Olympic, world, European and Commonwealth medals.
Doyle has been a versatile athlete throughout her career, winning a European title over the 400m hurdles, a world indoor bronze medal over 400m, and countless 4x400m relay titles at all the major championships and Games.
In the latter, she was part of the bronze medal winning quartet at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Three silver medals for Scotland at the Commonwealth Games were another proud achievement in the Pitreavie athlete’s career, especially her 400m hurdles silver in Glasgow in 2014.
Her last major medal came on home soil at the 2019 European Athletics Indoor Championships where she was part of the silver-medal winning team in the women’s 4x400m relay. Doyle has taken the decision in consultation with her coach and husband Brian Doyle, and in agreement with Olympic Head Coach Christian Malcolm and Performance Director Sara Symington.
On her retirement, Eilidh said: “I remember so clearly being nine years old and joining Pitreavie Athletics Club as a bit of fun. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined where the sport would take me over the next 25 years. Not all of it has been easy but my love for athletics has always been constant and still remains so to this day.
“Athletics has all my heart, focus and love but today I announce my retirement as a competitive athlete.
“I take with me so many amazing memories but, most importantly, I step away happy in the knowledge that this is the right time for me to go. I’m not saying it was an easy decision to make, but it was the right one and I am grateful I got to choose when it happened.
“The sport has brought me so much more than just medals. I have made lifelong friends, experienced incredible atmospheres, made history and even met my husband because of it.
“Now we have our wee boy, Campbell, and so much more to look forward to as a family. I do find it fitting however that my last international competition was winning a silver medal in front of a home crowd in Glasgow. Athletics will always hold a special place in my heart and
now I get to enjoy it from the other side as a fan.
“I have so many people I need to thank, who have been part of my journey, and over the next couple of weeks I hope to be able to thank you all personally. To everyone who has supported me and cheered me on over the years, I am so grateful to you all. I would like to give special thanks however to those who were there at the very beginning and introduced me to the sport I love, my mum, my dad, my big sisters and my big brother.
“Finally, I say thank you to Brian, not only for being my coach, my soft tissue therapist, for looking after the dog when I was travelling the world and, more recently, for looking after Campbell to let me train, but for being my supporter, challenger and for showing me how easy it was to pursue my dreams.
“What an adventure it has been and now I look forward to the next one, whatever it may be.”
Olympic Head Coach Christian Malcolm said: “Eilidh has been one of the UK’s leading athletes in the 400m hurdles and 4x400m relay for a number of years, and her service to the sport has been outstanding. Although it would have been good to see Eilidh compete at the Tokyo Olympics, I understand her decision and I am pleased she has made a decision that she and her family are happy with.
“Eilidh has achieved so much in the sport and has won medals across the board for the British team. She has also been a fantastic role model for athletes on the team, particularly in the relay set-up, and it is no surprise we have been so successful in that event in recent years with her presence in the squad.
“I wish Eilidh all the best in retirement, and an exciting and healthy next adventure in her life. She will always be part of the British Athletics family and would always be welcome back to get involved in any capacity in the future.”