Izzi Batt-Doyle has recently gone where many athletes dream of going, but very few manage to achieve. The Olympics! In 2019 she was the NCAA outdoor 10,000m bronze medalist and made the All-America First Team, and in January 2021 she finished second at the Australian 10,000m championships in Melbourne. She secured her place at the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 5000m with a personal best time of 15:04.10, and went on to represent Australia. We wanted to know a little about her experience of the Olympics, and share this inside sneak peek at what life was like for the athletes in Tokyo. We are so proud to have her as one of our #PremaxAthletes, and can’t wait to see what she does next!

Izzi Batt-Doyle in the Olympic village

I left Australia at the end of May to chase a qualifying time after missing the Olympic Standard of 15:10 by one second in Melbourne earlier this year. It was daunting to go overseas and to commit to being away for three months in a time of such uncertainty. In my first week I secured the Olympic Standard by running 15:04 and winning my first race in The Netherlands, which was an incredible moment of relief, excitement and happiness! I was very lucky to travel from The Netherlands to Switzerland for altitude training in St Mortiz, to Italy to race a 1500m, to the UK for a short training block, then across to Finland for a few more races before finally heading to Japan. The whole European stint was an amazing experience.

Izzi and the Olympic rings in Tokyo

While in Japan we had very strict protocols, I spent 4 days in a hotel room only able to run laps around a nearby track before being moved to the Olympic Village. The Olympic experience was packed into just 6 days which absolutely flew by! While in the village we were tested everyday, had to wear face masks everywhere, and over movements were quite restricted. Nonetheless, the village was an incredible experience, the Australian Headquarters were amazing with a recovery room, gym, snack pantry, great masseuses and physio's, TV screens to watch the Games, and even a barista! The dining hall was full of all of the food you could want and open 24/7. You had to put plastic gloves on and sit in little plastic booths so you could barely hear your neighbours when you sat down to eat!

Izzi and the Australian team at the Olympics 2020

I competed on the first day of athletics in the evening session in the second heat of the women's 5,000m. It was 30 degrees celsius and something like 98% humidity. I was overwhelmed with emotion when I walked out into the stadium, it was so big, bright and empty. When I stood on the starting line I was trying to take it all in while also staying calm and ready to race. Competing against some incredibly accomplished runners, I tucked into the large pack and tried to conserve energy. The pace wasn't fast and it was a very pushy and choppy race with lots of elbows and legs all over the place, I was sure someone was going to go down! The humidity really kicked in for me, and when the pace started to win up in the final kilometres unfortunately my legs felt heavy and I wasn't able to stick with the pack as they broke away. I kept up my consistent pace, but I was disappointed not to be able to unleash my usual finishing speed.

Izzi in her heat at the Olympics

I finished in 15th place in my heat, 28th place overall in a time of 15:21. Unfortunately this meant I was well off my goal of bettering my PB and breaking the 15 minute barrier, and I did not progress to the final. While initially disappointed, upon reflection I am incredibly proud to have improved my personal best from 15:41 to 15:04 this season, make my first senior Australian team and become an Australian Olympian. I believe the best is yet to come and am very excited for the next few years!

Izzi after her run