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Jo Pavey is urged to prove she merits a place at Rio Olympics

By Robert Jones

Jo Pavey has been told she can still be selected for the Rio Olympics, but only if she proves she is quick enough.

The 42-year-old is aiming to become the first British track athlete to compete in five Olympics and on Monday was selected for the European Championships in Amsterdam next week.

Pavey earlier this month conceded she was "running out of time" to qualify for the Games in August, and British Athletics performance director Neil Black says she will only go if she meets the stiff qualifying criteria.

She must run 32 minutes 15 seconds to compete in the 10,000m in Rio.

"She's on an upward trend, but she's got to run a time which puts her into the top 24 (in the world)," Black said.

"If she doesn't do that, it makes it very difficult to select her."

Pavey has struggled with a persistent chest infection and Black acknowledged her efforts.

"She's bust a gut," he added. But there will be no concessions when the selectors choose the Olympic team on July 12.

Pavey is one of six reigning European champions selected in a record 98-person squad, alongside Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford.

Martyn Rooney (400m), Tiffany Porter (100m hurdles), Adam Gemili and James Dasaolu are the others.

Mo Farah and Jessica Ennis-Hill, who both won golds on 'Super Saturday' at London 2012 on the same day as Rutherford, have opted not to compete.

The pair, along with Katarina Johnson-Thompson, Lynsey Sharp and a number of others, have decided instead to focus on preparations for Rio.

Christine Ohuruogu, the 2008 Olympic champion, competes over 400m, despite missing the British trials with a virus.

Belfast Telegraph

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