July 30, 2021 1.11 pm This story is over 27 months old

Olympian Sam Atkin limps out of men’s 10,000m in Japan

A cruel end to the Lincolnshire athlete’s amazing journey

Lincolnshire long-distance runner Sam Atkin has been forced to bow out of the men’s 10,000m with an achilles injury, just 5k into the race.

It’ll be a big blow for the Grimsby-born athlete, who has spent so long training for the event, and at one point in the race was even in fourth place.

Speaking after the race, Sam told The Lincolnite: “It was playing up yesterday really bad, and it played up last night.

“The therapists got it moving again, but it was all over the place out there with everyone slowing then starting up. I must have got tripped so many times which did not help it.”

In the end, the race was won by Ethiopian Selemon Barega and Great Britain’s other hopeful, Mark Scott, finished 14th.

Speaking to The Lincolnite earlier this month, Sam’s parents told how he joined Grimsby Harriers at a young age, winning every race he ran in, before eventually moving onto Lincoln Wellington at the age of 15 because he was getting so quick that he would win adult races.

After the race, Sam’s mum Helen told The Lincolnite: “It’s definitely not the end. That was a heck of a learning experience for Sam. It will give him resolve.”

Sam Atkin, representing Team GB, and his twin sister Jen, who is the current Miss Great Britain.

His next big step came at 18-years-old, when he was offered a scholarship in Idaho in the United States of America.

Sam currently lives and trains in Idaho, meaning his contact with his family has been limited, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sam qualified for the Olympic Games in dramatic fashion, after narrowly missing out on the 5,000m qualifying time, which is his preferred event, but then went on to run the now 5th fastest 10k in UK history.