Helen Clitheroe gold medal not enough for Lottery funding

Heroic 3,000 metres victory at the European Indoor Championships in Paris will not be enough to restore her Lottery funding.

The Preston Harrier was dropped from the Lottery programme after failing to make the top eight at the 2009 World Championships in Berlin and has had to rely on husband Neil, a schoolteacher, for financial support.

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee described her gold medal as “very special” and a reward for her perseverance at the age of 37, but he added that success on the European stage was not sufficient to qualify for Lottery funding.

“If she does it outdoors and she is getting results that indicate she is capable of top eight in the Olympics, then yes,” he said.

“Europeans do not count. The Lottery’s world-class performance plan is based on global performance.”