Junior standout Purdue is targeting a marathon medal in Berlin

Charlotte Purdue
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Having collected a brace of medals at U20 and U23 level, Charlotte Purdue is targeting senior success in the marathon at the European Championships in Berlin next August

With eight European medals to her name in her young career, there is little doubting the ability of Great Britain’s Charlotte Purdue. 

And now she has her sights set on producing something special next summer at the showpiece event of the year. 

Purdue, 26, is targeting the top of the podium in the marathon at the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships. The German capital is staging the athletics as co-hosts of the inaugural multi-sport European Championships with Glasgow. 

By then, she will be just over two years into running the 26.2-miles but such has been the encouragement she has gained so far by her exploits, she is determined Berlin will bring her the greatest success of sporting career. 

Her hopes and dreams are based on her brilliant run at this summer’s IAAF World Championships in London where Purdue finished 13th in 2:29:48. She was the first European home, a performance that has left her with confidence as she plots the next step in her career. 

Purdue is planning to race in the Saitama Marathon next weekend followed by the London Marathon in April with Berlin just four months later. 

“I wanted to target one championship marathon next year,” said Purdue, speaking to Athletics Weekly. “Being first European at the worlds kind of made my decision, really.

“Doing the European Championships marathon, getting a medal, possibly getting a gold medal – I really want to target that.”

Purdue made her marathon debut in London in 2016 when she ran 2:32:48 and then this year she ran her personal best on the same course with 2:29:23.

Berlin will be one of the occasions of the whole European Championships, with the spectacular backdrop of the city and the sites such as the Brandenburg Gate as the race returns to the championships after a half marathon was staged in place of the marathon in Amsterdam in 2016. 

Her time from London puts her 11th on the European rankings led by Portugal’s Jessica Augusto with 2:25:30 from the Hamburg Marathon. Augusto was the bronze medallist in Zurich in 2014 behind France’s Christelle Daunay and Italy’s Valeria Straneo. 

Purdue first came to prominence internationally a decade ago with two medals at the SPAR European Cross Country Championships, winning individual bronze and team gold in the junior race as a 16-year-old in Toro.

A year later in Brussels, she won junior silver and in her final year as a junior, Purdue achieved double gold, winning the title in Albufeira as she led the British team to the U20 title. 

Then in 2013 in Belgrade, there were two medals again as she won individual bronze and team gold in the U23 event in a run of success that also saw her win silver in the 5000m at the European U20 Championships in Novi Sad in 2009.

An impressive record that she now wants to add to in spectacular style in 10 months’ time.