Cambridge runner Camille Buscomb has qualified for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and set two new personal best running times in the process.
“I am so happy to finally put together some really good races when it really mattered,” Buscomb said hot off the back of beating her 10km and 5km personal best times at the world track and field championships in Doha.
It put her at number two as the all-time best female runner in New Zealand, for both the 5k and 10k runs, behind Kimberly Smith.
“I was so proud of my execution and toughness throughout each race. I performed the best I have in the biggest event to date,” said Buscomb, who beat her 10k run by 20 seconds and her 5k run by 21 seconds.
The 29-year-old runner finished 12th overall in both races. She said getting to the Olympics was always the ultimate goal.
“It has been a dream of mine since I was six years old to compete at the Olympic Games,” she said. “I have not yet done it yet – I narrowly missed out on the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 and that drove a change in training, training group, coach and level of commitment to the sport.”
“The time standard has really gone up since Rio, and I actually ran over a minute faster than I did in 2016, and 30 seconds faster over the 5k since 2016. If I hadn’t made the big changes I wouldn’t have improved as much as I have, so I would be way off that Rio qualifier. Fortunately, I had the courage to do this and when they released the new standards, I felt that I had done the work to achieve them.”
Over the last few years the former Cambridge High and St Peter’s student has spent most of the year based at training camps or overseas, where she could reach the level required for world-best times, she said.
“I am really loving where I am at, and the journey I am on,” she said. “The last few years have been incredible for me.”
She was a 5000m silver medallist at the World University Games in 2015 and finished 12th in the 5000m and 14th in the 10,000m at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Now based in Bath, UK with her partner Cameron French, the 400m hurdles national record holder, Buscomb will train in a couple of road races in Holland before the end of the year and plans to compete in the 3000m race at the World Indoor championships being held in China next year.
“I am so excited for the next phase as I build up and work towards bigger goals, faster times and tougher competition,” she said. “It certainly doesn’t happen overnight, but years and years of consistent hard work certainly make this week completely worth it! I am loving the direction I’m headed in and the opportunities that I have as I head into next year.”