Emelia Gorecka

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Emelia Górecka
Emelia Gorecka.jpg
Personal information
Born (1994-01-29) 29 January 1994 (age 20)
Epsom, Surrey, England
Height 1.69 m (5 ft 6 12 in)
Weight 53 kg (117 lb; 8.3 st)
Sport
Country  Great Britain
Coached by Mick Woods
Achievements and titles
Personal best(s) 1500 m: 4:14.22 (Watford 2012)
3000 m: 8:55.11 (Birmingham 2012)
5000 m:15:34.21(Watford 2012)

Emelia Jane Gorecka (born 29 January 1994), is a British middle and long-distance runner. She began her athletics career with Dorking and Mole Valley Athletic Club, where even as an 11 year old she showed much early promise, beating girls several years older than her in local races. In 2006 she moved to her current club, Aldershot, Farnham and District Athletic Club. She lives in Bookham, Surrey. She specialises in middle and long-distance running, racing in 1500 metres, 3000 metres, 5000 metres and 10,000 metres, as well as cross country running. Górecka is the current European Junior 3000m champion and is coached by Mick Woods.

After winning a number of youth titles at the national level, Górecka had her first international success at the 2010 European Cross Country Championships, where she won a bronze medal in the Junior race. She was also the best European Junior at the World Cross Country Championships that year. In the 2011 European Cross Country Championships she won the junior women's race and led Britain to victory in the team event.[1]

At the age of 14 she topped the UK rankings chart in the 1500m for the U15 age group, in what was the third fastest ever time for someone her age. By the time she was 16 years old she had won a total of 20 national and seven international races and taken part in three World Championship events.[1]

Górecka holds the British record time [2] for the mile race as an U15 Girl, 4:46.87, which beat the previous record by four seconds. She also holds the record for 3000m in the U15/U17 age groups.

On 8 December 2013, Górecka came 1st at the European Cross Country Championships in Belgrade, Serbia with a comfortable win over Polish athlete, Sofia Ennaoui with a time of 13:06.[3] The race was on BBC 2 and was televised in 11 other countries.[4]

Emelia Górecka came a close 3rd in her senior debut at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country on 11 January 2014, helping team GB & NI win the International team challenge. The three-time European junior cross-country champion followed Great Britain women’s captain Gemma Steel for much of the race, before slipping to third place on the final lap. In her interview, Emelia said "There was definitely no fear... I didn’t really know what to expect; I knew I was in good shape but I just wanted to be taken around [the course] by the girls. I didn’t expect to get in the front but I felt good... the last lap was a bit of a struggle but my strength will hopefully come on in the next couple of years. It’s good platform to build on, coming third, so I’m really happy." And Górecka also said she wants one last victory as a junior before concentrating on moving up to the adult ranks: “I’m still a junior for the national cross-country, so I’d love to go there to get my eighth consecutive win... then I will go on to do some senior races, maybe some indoors, and then onto the track, but hopefully I will keep going quicker.”[5]

Scoliosis[edit]

Despite being fortunate enough to have experienced a lot of success in her early years as an athlete, the road had not always been smooth. It was during her first year with Aldershot, Farnham & District AC that she was diagnosed with Scoliosis – a medical condition which means that she had a fairly spectacular curvature of the spine. It came with a delightful rotation, which meant that some of her basic movements were rather tricky to negotiate; swinging her arms freely, for example.

In Emelia's case, the Scoliosis is a genetic condition and is not related to running at all. Emelia said "This diagnosis initially meant nothing to me – it was unnoticeable and it didn't seem to affect me in the slightest".

However in 2008 she discovered that her condition had declined and that she was now the owner of two curves of 27 and 34 degrees, displayed as a rather distorted 'S' shape on the x-ray. Górecka consultant told her that she would have to wear a body brace to support her back as she completed her adolescent growth spurt. Emelia was also told that she might not be able to spend enough time out of the brace each week to continue training. Emelia said "This was the first time in my life where I was struck silent. In that split second I decided I would never let anyone tell me that there was anything that was out of my reach". Her mum helped her to wipe away the tears, she talked the consultant through the weekly training regime, that she was committed to at that time, and he agreed that Emelia could come out of the brace for a total of 10 hours each week to train and to race. Her attitude changed quickly to one of, 'the sooner the brace is on, the sooner it will be off...'.[6]

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