From the BBC
Forty-year-old Jo Pavey became the oldest woman ever to claim gold at a European Championships when she won a thrilling 10,000m and got Team GB's campaign in Zurich off to the perfect start.
Pavey, a mother of two who only gave birth to her younger child Emily 11 months ago, ran the perfect tactical race to match the gold won by her old friend Paula Radcliffe in Munich 12 years ago.
There's a bit of talk about this "only 11 months after giving birth", but in certain sports, particularly stamina events, there's actually some evidence to suggest that having a baby can be good for sporting achievement. From the Wikipedia article about abortion doping:-
A study of athletes before and after pregnancy by Professor James Pivarnik at the Human Energy Research laboratory in Michigan State University has found there is a 60 per cent increase in blood volume and that this could improve the body’s ability to carry oxygen to muscles by up to 30 per cent. This would have obvious positive effects on aerobic capacity. Other potential advantages are obtained from the surge in hormones that pregnancy induces, predominantly progesterone and oestrogen, but also testosterone, which could increase muscle strength. Increases in hormones like relaxin, which loosens the hip joints to prepare for childbirth, may have a performance enhancing effect on joint mobility.
No-one's really sure if "abortion doping" ever occurred. I doubt it happened in the DDR simply because their female athletes were generally so doped up on everything else that they didn't need it.
Thursday, 14 August 2014
From the BBC