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