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Goldie Sayers

Team GB - Olympic Bronze Medallist


20 July 2019Anniversary Games: Goldie Sayers receives medal 11 years on

Anniversary Games: Goldie Sayers receives medal 11 years on

'It's been a long time coming' - Goldie Sayers awarded 2008 Olympic bronze medal
Anniversary Games, London Stadium, 20-21 July
Coverage: Saturday- 13:15-16:30 BST, BBC One & Games forum, BBC Red Button, 16:25-17:00 BST; Sunday- 13:20-16:00 BST, BBC One & Games forum, BBC Red Button, Connected TV and online, 15:55-16:30 BST. Plus watch online with text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

Goldie Sayers says belatedly receiving her 2008 Olympic javelin bronze medal in front of a home crowd in London was "a long time coming".

Sayers was awarded the Beijing medal at Saturday's Anniversary Games, after historic doping violations.

Russian Mariya Abakumova was stripped of silver in 2016 after a reanalysis of a sample tested positive for an anabolic steroid.

"I was struggling. It was a lot to take in," Sayers told BBC Sport.

"It's been a long old process, I found out driving down the M11 on my way to meet my mum for a coffee in the Newmarket Waitrose - glamorous!

"It's been a long time coming. At least I've got my Beijing tracksuit on."

Speaking after the ceremony, her mum Liz said: "Eleven years, who would have believed it? It's been fantastic. I remember after Beijing, Goldie came off the track and she gave me a hug and said 'I couldn't have given it any more'."

Ahead of the ceremony the 37-year-old said: "It's quite overwhelming. It's been quite an emotional time. I have had the benefit of a lot of time to reflect, and I guess the emotions have changed.

"I can look back on a career and think 'I was pretty good at lobbing that spear around'.

"I really feel just a complete sense of gratitude for the career I've had, the people I've met during that career and all the things I've learnt along the way."

Sayers wore her Beijing tracksuit on Saturday - a tradition she would have adopted in the Bird's Nest Stadium 11 years ago.

"I got the opportunity to decide how I wanted the medal to be presented. It felt significant to be presented with the medal in the Olympic Stadium and be able to have a lot of friends and family in the crowd," she explained.

"I've had to dig out my 2008 Olympic kit. I was still quite proud I could fit into it, it's had a wash because it's been in a bag for over 10 years.

"The difference being I get the national anthem played in the Olympic Stadium on Saturday which I wouldn't have had at the time, so that's an added bonus."

Sayers, who retired from the sport in 2017, said she felt she had had the "greatest moment of her life stolen" when Abakumova's failed test was revealed.

A subsequent appeal by the Russian was dismissed by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in 2018.

"I guess like anything in life, there are always going to be those people who cheat to try and get an advantage. As an athlete, there's nothing you can do about it," Sayers said.

"I probably thought there was a high likelihood that she was cheating. I liked at the time to remain naive. I don't have anything against her at all.

"You can get bitter and twisted about it and be angry, but I just don't see there being any point.

"It's in the past now and I can take this medal as proof that if you set yourself goals and make powerful dreams that mean a lot to you, then you can achieve little by little what you want to, but for some of us it takes a bit longer than expected."

Goldie Sayers
Sayers, pictured at the 2008 Olympics, retired from the sport in 2017