Denise Lewis hails "outstanding" Jo Pavey

Jo Pavey wins the women's 10,000m gold at the European Championships in Zurich on August 12, 2014
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Denise Lewis tells Sports Mole that she is "delighted" for the "outstanding" Jo Pavey following her 10,000m gold medal at the European Championships.

Former Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis has heaped praise on Jo Pavey following her performances on the track this summer.

The 40-year-old clinched a surprise bronze medal in the 5,000m at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow before storming to a memorable gold in the European Championships 10,000m.

The latter success saw her become the oldest female European champion in history, a feat made even more impressive by the fact she gave birth to her second child just 10 months ago, and Lewis believes that Pavey's victory inspired the rest of the athletes in Zurich.

"Jo Pavey was outstanding at both championships really. I've known Jo for a long time so I was delighted to see her rewarded with a gold medal after so many years of being a stalwart of British athletics. [She's a] great ambassador for the sport, so it's great to see her [succeed]," Lewis told Sports Mole.

"I think Jo's medal was probably one of the most popular medals, and it really did inspire the team to go on and achieve better things. I'm just delighted for her. I've come through the English schools and junior ranks with Jo, and she's still there putting in the hours. It's just great to see, it really is.

"We roared her home. I think everybody who has been involved in athletics for many years would have just been screaming at their television or screaming in the stadium, just roaring her on. She showed great courage, and what I say to everyone is 'seize the moment, make sure that you come into the championships ready and if you see an opportunity then go for it'. That's what Jo has done."

Pavey has not outlined any plans for retirement yet, and Lewis believes that there is more in the tank should she remain healthy.

"You just don't know when the cut-off time is for when people say you should be retiring or you should be thinking of other things, but she's just proven that if you're healthy, committed and you've got great support then everything is possible," she added.

Click here to read our full interview with former Olympic gold medallist Denise Lewis.

Denise Lewis pictured in 2011
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