Huddersfield athlete Abigail Haywood setting sights on Rio Olympics

POLE-VAULTER Abigail Haywood admits this summer’s London Olympics will come  too soon in her career.

However, she is adamant an impressive showing at this weekend’s Aviva Trials  in Birmingham is a must if she is to achieve her goal of reaching the 2016 Games  in Rio.

The 21-year-old admits that the Olympic ‘A’ standard jump she requires to  make London 2012 is out of reach for her at the moment, while even if she did  pull a rabbit out of the hat it still might not be enough with Holly Bleasdale  and Kate Dennison for company.

However, the Loughborough University student has had a good year so far with  strong performances at BUCS Championships and the England Closed Championships  and will arrive in Birmingham in confident mood.

And the Huddersfield athlete says the strong competition at the trials in  Birmingham will help her improve her personal best and give her vital experience  for when her time comes.

She said: “I am going to the Aviva

Trials mainly for the valuable experience, because I think the Olympic ‘A’ Standard is beyond me at the moment.

“It’s definitely something that I can achieve in the near future, but I am  not jumping high enough right now for it to be a realistic possibility.

“The opportunity to jump against top athletes such as those who are looking  at making the GB Team for the Olympics at the trials will really help me  progress though.

“Hopefully, I can get another season’s best or even possibly a personal best,  but the main thing for me is that I enjoy the experience.”

Haywood, from Newsome, has a season’s best of 3.90m, while the required  qualifying standard for pole vault in London 2012 is 4.50m, but the former  Greenhead College student is determined to make the most of the upcoming  trials.

The Sale Harriers athlete has already started thinking about what she needs  to do to make the 2016 Games, when she is confident she will be at her peak.

By Mel Booth


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